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Dining Room at the Berkeley

The 'It List'

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Dining Room at the Berkeley
Cary Street at 12th Street 780-1300

Since it opened more than a decade ago, The Dining Room at the Berkeley has been committed to culinary excellence. And it is a good choice to celebrate almost any occasion if distinctive food, good service and a sophisticated ambience are what you have in mind.

Matthew Tlusty, who's worked in many of Richmond's better kitchens, has been wearing the "executive" toque for almost a year now. Chef Tlusty's menu is a bit more conservative than his predecessors, but it's far from ordinary. Where else in Richmond will you find caviar, foie gras, truffles, duck, bison, rabbit, venison and ostrich on the same menu along with fare for the steak-and-potatoes guy?

If those at your table are adventurous, the five-course tasting menu, including appropriate wine, is a wonderful value and a chance to taste the talents of the kitchen.

Tlusty's starters are perhaps the most original part of the menu and are sometimes dazzlers. For the main courses, he surrounds the main ingredient with such comforts as mashed potatoes, dumplings, or wonderful exotic grains and simple sauces or reductions. And desserts are carefully prepared, not an afterthought.

The Berkeley Hotel prides itself on personal service to its guests. This is evident in the Dining Room as

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