revival

“Snout to tail, root to shoot”: that’s the rallying cry at Revival Bar + Kitchen in Berkeley, and with dishes like carrot-top pesto, the Mixed Pig Plate, and the emphatically quoted “basket of bread” (crispy lamb sweetbreads served with bread-and-butter pickles), Revival is revved up to bring back classic cooking – and to revive downtown Berkeley’s restaurant scene too.

Never had a pig’s ear?  Try them at Revival braised and tossed with arugula, grilled peaches, and a zesty vinaigrette. Pig ears don’t exactly melt in your mouth, but many find their chewy texture to be a real treat. And if that’s too much to chew on, try the sumptuous pimenton pork rillettes, pig shoulder cooked slowly in its own fat until it reaches spreadable perfection. A top layer of fat and plenty of salt makes this an age-old method of preserving meat, though you might find it too addictive to last long at the table.

At Revival, the farm-to-table ethos is of upmost importance, but it’s balanced with old-fashioned escapism. The turn-of-the-century décor and artisanal cocktails remind restaurant patrons of the pleasures of eating out: getting away from it all and connecting with the community at the same time. All while not letting the pig’s ears go to waste.

Full disclosure: Katie Kadue worked in the front of the house at Revival Bar + Kitchen, but she is still too scared to try a pig’s ear.