Berkeley’s idyllic cafe, Bartavelle, replaced Cafe Fanny in 2012. Now, owner Suzanne Drexhage and her son Sam Sobolewski are expanding its offerings with a Friday night service they’re calling Bar Sardine.
“We’ve always wanted to do something like this in the space,” says Sobolewksi. “The original inspiration for Bartavelle was the style European coffee and wine bars that don’t really exist in the United States, that become really different depending on the time of day.”
The cozy cafe’s seating area is located primarily on a covered patio, where diners currently eat a menu of light fare for breakfast and lunch, like its very popular “Persian breakfast” — a plate of lebneh, sheep’s milk feta, fresh herbs, pickles, and more served with Acme pizza bianca — smoked trout salad, toasts, and its very popular anchovy and aioli eggs.
Now, evening diners will be able to enjoy a menu of snacks like high quality tinned fish, duck liver mousse, salt cod brandade, and radishes served with salt and butter are some of the dishes that could grace the opening menu, with room to change along the way.
A rotating selection of wines by the glass, carafe or bottle will include options from neighboring Kermit Lynch, as well as natural wines by producers like Martha Stoumen, Arianna Occhipinti, and Elizabetti Foradori; Sobolewski says the initial wine list will be heavily focused on female winemakers.
“The daytime aspect of running Bartavelle got really busy and required a lot of our attention, we so shelved the idea of being a wine bar for a while,” says Sobolewski. “We’re really excited, we’re finally realizing the dream we’ve had all along.”
Stop by on Fridays from 5:30 p.m.- 9 p.m. starting tomorrow, December 7. Bar Sardine’s hours may expand as time goes on, so stay tuned.