Oakland >Wood Tavern
#1 Restaurant in Oakland.
Incredible! Best restaurant in the East Bay. Service is exceptional, food and wine are amazing. Very difficult to get a table on Fri and Sat nights - call a week+ in advance or drop in to potentially get a seat at the bar. A SF quality dining experience in the East Bay.
Don't waste time reading doghairnancy's comment below. Doghair - Berkeley has plenty of vegetarian places that allow you to sip on your Wheat Grass and savor on your zucchini. Your semi-vegetatian friends probably had a good laugh over your silly complaints about the waitress. Next time, let your friends enjoy and you should just plan on stopping by the Berkeley Bowl and eating your nuts, soup and salad at home.
Wonderful new eatery in Rockridge!. This place is fantastic! A wonderful, cozy, delicious little hide-away! Be warned though, make a reservation WELL in advance because they only have 12 tables and a small bar area. Despite the size, they do a fantastic job of not making one feel cramped like a sardine. I've been twice and both times the overall experience has been great! GREAT food, GREAT service, SUPER GREAT wine list. Definately a must, the only problem for the non walking/bicycling folks is that there's no parking but come on.......are you surprised............it's Rockridge! Wouldn't say that this place cater's to a vegetarian/uber-health concious crowd so, if your vegan, or on a diet, please save the seats for carniverous clans!
Vegetarians, take your business elsewhere.. I'm speaking from the standpoint of a fairly typical Berkeleyite who expects a good vegetarian entree option at every restaurant in our enlightened area. I took 5 friends, several of whom try to be vegetarian, to dinner last night at Wood Tavern and there was not one single vegetarian entree on the menu. The fish was wrapped in pancetta, the rigatoni was bathed in lamb sugo...The waitress very unhelpfully suggested that we have soup and salad. No thanks, we can make that at home. She then offered us a mushroom risotto (which was offered as a side on another meaty dish). It's bad enough that there seems to be an in-your-face resurgence of eating the charismatic animals (veal, lamb, pigs, rabbits) 'because we can'. It's even worse when vegetarians are punished by restaurants who offer us no interesting choices. It's the last time I will ever recommend Wood Tavern to anyone.
Best New East Bay Restaurant. Lucky for us we read about Wood Tavern and ate there 3 times (lunch) while on vacation. The service, food and presentation of the food plus the wonderful decor of the restaurant means we will return again and again. It is one of the most satisfying new dining experiences we have encountered.
Best East Bay neighborhood bistro. We took my Mom for an early dinner, 5:30 on a Monday night. We got a great table for 4, settled in for a cocktail, and watched the masses pour through the door. The restaurant was half empty when we arrived, but was packed within the next 20 minutes. I knew right away it was going to be good. One look at the menu variety and ingredients said we had made the right choice. Our first courses consisted of the Pork Belly, the Shirmp with Pesto, and the Beet Salad. We wanted to try their different flavor profiles. What a treat. The Beet Salad was subtile and wonderfully tangy at the same time. The Shrimp, which I was skeptical of, was well balanced between the flavor of the shirmp and just enough Pesto for a contrast. The Pork Belly (it was my first) was amazing. No heavy fats, just a moist, tender and very pork flavorful meat with the bonus of a creamy sof boiled egg and vinegrette in an amazing contrast. The main courses we had, and shared, were the pan roasted chicken, the flat iron steak, the double cut pork chop, and I had the Wicked Good Seafood Stew. I really could go on and on about how well each one was prepared and served. But I have to say, the stew, with its abundant seafood and tomato confit in a lobster broth was the best of the choices. A close second was the Pork Chop with an earthy, yet light bacon chantrell succotash. The best part of the evening though were two small surprises. First, we ordered the Humbolt Fog cheese plate which came with soft ripe pear, and almonds in a spice honey. It was a perfect combination flavors and textures. Second, was the honey panna cotta. My Mom tasted it and claimed it to be the nectar of the Gods. I think she nailed it. On top of the food, the service was awesome, and the decor was minimal and warm in the best sense. It is clearly my new favorite hangout. Great Food, drinks and service in a neighborhood bistro atmosphere with prices that won't leave you gasping for air.
Must have caught them on a bad night.
I'd heard a lot of good things about this place, so we gave it a try. We were seated promptly, but the service went downhill from there. The food took a really really long time to arrive. When we were finished, it took at least 15 minutes for the food to be cleared. We wanted dessert, but were hesitant. we decided to order anyway. The time it took to WAIT for them to take our dessert order, then to WAIT for the dessert to come, then WAIT for the bill, then WAIT for a receipt came to about 45 more minutes.. So a quick weeknight dinner out (sitting at the bar no less) turned into over an hour and a half.
The food though, was excellent. We had the duck, and the halibut. Despite this, the poor service and disinterested demeanor of the staff will keep us from returning.
Great Neighborhood Addition. We have gone several times - and without reservations, you'll most likely wait for a table (and even the bar fills up early)....and the reason is both the food and the service. Preparation and presentation are always top notch. Previous reviewers captured the sentiment - but we echo everything that's been stated and highly recommend. We were fans of the owners when they had their place in the city on Hyde street...
Great California Cuisine in Rockridge!. A friend and I arrived on a Friday evening and got the last two spots at the counter. Note-to-Self: make reservations for next visit. All the staff were friendly, courteous, attentive, and professional. The ambience was urban-sophisticated, yet casual; a place where you could feel comfortable wearing jeans or slacks. Each dish was flavorful, well-prepared (right in front of us), and aesthetically pleasing. We started with the salmon tartar, ordered the duck and pork chop for mains, and finished with chocolate cake. Appetizer and dessert were good, but the entrees were the stars of the evening. The sides complemented, but did not overpower, the flavors of the meat and added a nice contrasting texture - lots of crunch in hazelnuts & corn. Though I didn't try the halibut, that seemed to be a very popular dish as the chef was continually plating them up. Definitely a must-try in the East Bay!
Great new addition to Rockridge. we were greeted immediately by a friendly face and were seated immediately. the owner was the first at our table and humbly made some great recommendations. we started with a mint julip and a dark and stormy cocktail, first rate, and then ordered the tapas like appetizer and cheese plate, amazing flavors to start off the night. The four of us split the chopped salad and the refreshing and spring-like asparagus and arugala salad and then ordered a bottle of Oregon Pinot and our entres. I got the Pork Chop with morels and the best sauce i have ever tasted, one person got the duck breast, and he is an expert on fine duck saying it was perfect, another ordered the chicken (which rivals Zuni Cafe) and the last person got the halibut, which I tasted and it melt in my mouth. We were floored, honestly, and finished off with dessert and Mexican Coffee (it was Cinco de Mayo) and the coffees were served in a huge bowl with fresh whipped cream from the bar tender himself. i have already made reservations to go back with another couple! I am sure I am leaving something out, the atmosphere was lively but not too loud, the decor is subtle and not over the top trying to be hip, and the service was first class. I hope they keep up the good work, we need more restaurants like this one.
Best Well Balanced, DELICIOUS foods!!. A must! This restaurant is VERY good...from the appetizer - amazing salads to the amazing crab salad and tasty burger. If you are in this area you must stop by the bar and try an appetizer or entree. You will be very happy and leave feeling healthy! A nice stop on the way to Berkeley from SF.
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