Revival Bar & Kitchen Completes Menu Transition Envisioned By Chef/Owner Amy Murray

Photography by Allison Andres

Chef/owner Amy Murray, who took over the position of Executive Chef  in Berkeley late last year, has completed the refining of the restaurant’s menu such that it is now, more than ever, seasonally inspired and prepared using locally sourced, mostly organic ingredients.

Comments Murray, “I saw an opportunity in our transition of chefs to fully manifest my vision of a restaurant that is defined by its commitment to supporting local purveyors and utilizing a ‘snout to tail’ approach to serving meat dishes. We butcher our own goats, pigs, 1/4 hinds of beef, produce our own charcuterie, sausage and bacon, make our own jams and ketchup and may soon be able to keep bees on our roof to harvest our own honey.”

The new Revival Bar & Kitchen menu includes starters ($8.00 to $13.00) such as Roasted Romanesco Flatbread with Castelvetrano olives, orange confit, and capriccio di cabra cheese; McCormack Goat Tangine from braised neck and shank with chickpea fritters and preserved Meyer lemon gremolata; and Mello Gold Grapefruit Salad with local avocado, fennel and a grapefruit-honey-mint vinaigrette. Among the notable main courses ($18.00 to $24.00) are Marin Sun Farms Beef Cheeks with sunchokes and horseradish creme fraiche; and Field to Family Farm Chicken with hen of woods mushrooms, rutabaga and cippolini onions. For dessert, frequently inspired by local fruits of the season and made organic sugar, diners can enjoy a backyard Meyer Lemon and Chocolate Mousse Semifreddo.

Not to be missed are Revival Bar & Kitchen’s charcuterie offerings prepared by the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine and Master Butcher Travis McConnell (certified by the Guild of Butchers) who has spent time at the Ritz-Carlton and the Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel (among others), both in San Francisco.

Chef/owner Murray is a native of Michigan and moved to the Bay Area in 1992. She is the culinary inspiration behind and the proprietor of Berkeley’s Venus Restaurant which she opened in 2000. Inspired by travels in Asia, she has long been interested the local food movement, organic farming and farmers markets, which led her to open The Happy Belly in Jack London Village in Oakland in 1994, a concept that she subsequently moved to Berkeley and morphed into Venus. She opened Revival in the summer of 2010 when given the opportunity to revive the ground floor of a 1901 building located on a historic corner in downtown Berkeley.

The restaurant’s cocktail menu is compiled by Head Mixologist Nat Harry who opened the bar under the tutelage of Corey Harrison, a “rising star” bartender from Quince in San Francisco and Five in Berkeley. Revival showcases modern interpretations of classic cocktails, plus innovative seasonal libations, made with artisan spirits and craft distillations and a variety of housemade tinctures, bitters and infusions. The international wine list has about 60 selections, of which 10 are available by the glass and as a part of a rotating selection of flights. A recent innovation is the availability of three or four “keg” wines. Early and late evening Happy Hour specials are offered Tuesday through Friday and the restaurant’s full menu and/or a bar menu are served in the 40-seat bar and lounge area at select times.

The interior design of Revival Bar & Kitchen, evocative of a rustic turn of the century bordello/saloon, is the work of Michael Brennan (Fleur de Lys, Brunos, Tartare, Zero Zero, Cliff House, Miss Pearl’s Jam House, La Table, Brick & Bottle, Boca, Baker & Banker, Trademark, among others). Highlights of the main dining room which seats 130 include an umber, chocolate and cherry red color scheme, the generous use of reclaimed wood, steel accents, antique mirror panels, a high ceiling, oversized windows affording substantial natural light and cityscape views, restored Julia Morgan designed window framing, suspended light fixtures, vintage hurricane lamps, wall niches containing evocative displays of period bric-a-brac, zinc topped tables, banquettes, and both carpeting and darkened oak floor planks.

Live musical performances take place at Revival Bar & Kitchen every Thursday night from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. and there is no cover charge. Special functions are a specialty of the house and there is a fully private dining room with seating for 45 guests.

Revival Bar & Kitchen is located at 2102 Shattuck Avenue, on the corner of Addison Street, in Berkeley, California. Dinner is served Tuesday to Thursday from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:00 to 10:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 5.00 to 9:30 p.m. There are private garages in the area and street parking is sometimes an option. For more information or reservations, also available at, visit or call (510) 549-9950.