Pâte à Choux Demo

If you are a Member at the Berkeley City Club, chances are, this months Member Mixer was one of your favorites with Chef Alaun’s food demo of Pâte à Choux.

What is Pâte à Choux you are wondering, right?  Don’t worry, I did too!

Pate a Choux

Pâte à choux is an airy cream-puff dough, which serves as the base for gougères, éclairs and many other exquisite treats. Here, a step-by-step tutorial in mastering the classic – for either a sweet or savory bite of deliciousness.  

250 ml water

115 gr unsalted butter

140 gr ap flour sifted

10 gr granulated sugar

5 gr salt

4 whole eggs (large)

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepot.  Bring to a simmer then add all the flour at once stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Lower heat to medium-low and continue stirring mixture until a dough ball forms and the dough is pulling away easily from the sides of the saucepot. Remove saucepot from the heat and allow dough to cool for 1 minute.

Stir in one egg at a time, making sure that the egg is completely incorporated into the dough before adding the next.  Once all the eggs have been incorporated into the dough, transfer the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1/4″ to 1/2″ tip.

For cream puffs or gougeres, pipe the choux pastry into small rounds on parchment paper.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Fill with the filling of your choice.

Pate 4

Chef Alaun had a lovely assistant, Noel, on hand to serve up samples filled with a mouth-watering cheese inside, and you could also help yourself to a sample of a cream puff towards the end of the evening.

Pate 3

I treated myself to one of each (a savory & sweet).  They were each a little bite of decadence I was able to slowly enjoy.

If you like to experiment in the kitchen, this one may be worth a try.  If not, no worries, come strut into Julia’s and treat yourself to something amazing off of the menu.  I bet you will leave happy and pampered.

Julia’s is open for Lunch Tuesday through Friday 11:30am-2pm and for Dinner Tuesday through Saturday 5pm-8:30pm.

Reservations are available on Open Table or by calling 510.280.1547.

Summertime favorites at Julia’s


Have you been into Julia’s lately for one (or, more) of Chef Alaun’s specialties?

Consider starting with this Butter lettuce salad of Comice pear, toasted almonds, radishes and Dijon Vinaigrette.

Image by Anna Wu

Share with a dining partner (or enjoy all to yourself) these succulent scallops found of the menu at Lunch or Dinner.

Image by Anna Wu

Continue feasting on this delectable entree of roasted duck breast, brussels sprouts, chestnuts, trumpet mushrooms and duck jus


Image by Anna Wu

We hope you saved room for dessert.  You can’t beat Chef Alaun’s warm pear cake, vanilla poached pears, toffee sauce and brown butter ice cream.


Image by Anna Wu

Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is.

 Open Table is calling my name to book a reservation, stat.

If we can assist you with booking your next dinner reservation or a special occasion luncheon to celebrate nothing more than enjoying amazing cuisine, call us at 510.280.1547.

We are here Tuesday through Saturday for your dining bliss.

A new spin on Mother’s Day Brunch

Flowers in Julia's - David Bunnell

Floral centerpiece at Julia’s   Photography by David Bunnell

Mother’s Day Brunch takes on a new twist this year!

Just in case you did not know, the Berkeley City Club is a bustling “Little Castle.” On any given day, Club members, hotel guests,  a bride and groom,  and various Cal students are likely walking the spacious hallways of our beautiful historic landmark.

Sunday, May 11, 2014 will be another busy day for us at the Club; as the Mother’s Day Brunch will be coupled with a wedding party celebrating their nuptials at the Club.  We take a departure from our traditional buffet in the Ballroom and have a more intimate affair inside Julia’s.   Chef Alaun has an amazing a la carte menu planned with favorites for every palate – from a smoked salmon plate and prawn cocktail to steak & eggs and cinnamon & raisin french toast, bacon and grits and more – plan to feel satisfied and pampered, as with any visit to Julia’s!

We have very limited seating for this special day.  Book now to secure your special meal with your mom or mom to be!  It is a celebration for all!

Please call us at 510.280.1547 to book or visit us on Open Table to book your reservation online.

And, just in case time slipped you by this year, we still have room for any last minute Easter Buffet Brunch reservations.  Don’t hesitate to give us a ring to book your outing to the Club this Sunday, April 20th.

Julia’s receives nod for “Best Service”

The word is getting out that Chef Alaun’s cuisine is some of the very best and people are sashaying in to try it out.  Julia’s was a hit with our Prix Fixe Lunch and Dinner menus for Berkeley Restaurant Week and of course, Valentine’s Day diners earlier this month.

Reviews on Open Table say it loud and proud that Julia’s is the new best-kept secret of Berkeley.

“Besides the fresh and beautifully presented menu items it was a pleasure to take a friend from London to this very special location. The restaurant is in the very room where my parents wedding reception was held in 1938. Berkeley certainly needs and deserves an elegant and refined eating establishment and this is it.”

I love to read reviews like the one above, especially ones where the diners are appreciative to the history of our building (did you know that the ceilings pictured below are made to look like wood, but are actually concrete?).  Such rave reviews gave us the accolades to be a Diners’ Choice Award Winner for “Best Service” on Open Table.

Now, that’s cause for celebration!  Cheers!

Julia's at lunchtime

Julia’s at lunchtime | Anna Wu Photography

a little love from Yelp


Julia’s receives positive accolades via “The Weekly Yelp”

It’s like “dining in a European chateau,” says Audie B. There are “fresh flowers everywhere, and beautiful places to visit,” like the library and “gorgeous indoor pool.” But don’t let these classy Berkeley City Club digs deter you from a casual cocktail! Julia’s Lounge is mixology central from 4:30pm–8pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Come by and see us at Julia’s and experience what everyone is raving about. Make your reservation on Open Table or by calling us at 510.280.1547.

Wine glasses explained

The next time you are relaxing at Julia’s Lounge, your favorite restaurant or enjoying a glass of wine with friends, you may be able to share knowledge of types of glasses after reading this post.

The best and most practical wine glass will be made with crystal or a thin glass.  Thicker glass has been thought to affect the taste of your wine and possibly making it difficult to sip your wine.

For the average wine drinker, four basic types of wine glasses (red, white, sparkling, dessert) may be all you need. For those who wish to expand their enjoyment, appreciation and knowledge of wine, you may want to invest in the more specific types of wine glasses.

Red wine


red wine glass bowl will be full and round with a large opening to allow you to dip your nose into the glass to detect aroma. The complex aromas and flavors of red wine demand a glass with a larger surface area so the wine comes in contact with more air.

White wine


white wine glass bowl will be more U shaped and upright allowing the aromas to be released while also maintaining a cooler temperature.

The wine glass for younger whites has a slightly larger opening directing the wine to the tip and sides of the tongue to taste its sweetness.

The glass for more mature whites will be straighter and taller to dispense the wine to the back and sides of the tongue to taste its bolder flavors.

Sparkling wine


sparkling wine glass (or flute) will be upright and more narrow to retain the carbonation and capture the flavor.

Dessert wine


dessert wine glass should be smaller to direct the wine to the back of the mouth so the sweetness does not overwhelm the drinker. Dessert wines generally have a higher alcohol content, thus making the small glass perfect for a smaller serving.

Now, come and test your knowledge of wine glasses on your next visit to Julia’s or The Lounge at Julia’s, open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday evenings.

Call us:  510.280.1547

Email us:  julia’s@berkeleycityclub.com

Lounge Hours at Julia’s

Lounge Hours


Needing to unwind after a long day, or just want to relax with wine and a nibble?

If you love Chef Alaun’s creations for Lunch and Dinner, you will thoroughly enjoy the tapas we are offering again during Lounge Hours.  Some of the options we have available are warm marinated olives, a classic tortilla espanola, garlic fries served with a romesco aioli and salt cod croquets with lemon aioli.

Our featured cocktails change seasonally and our talented bartenders can concoct beverages to your liking – be it a martini, a side car or gimlet – or a simple glass of wine or beer.

Come and join us during our newly extended Lounge Hours from 4:30pm to 8:00pm, Tuesday thru Saturday.  You will be glad you did!  Don’t forget – for Members, your discount applies to tapas and beverages!