We chose to have a special birthday dinner at Camino. We chose a Monday night, so that we would not have to deal with the weekend crush. There were four of us and on the whole it was a very disappointing experience.??The menu selection was much too limited and for minuscule portions, the prices were exceedingly high.??With the exception of the
Don't let the short, bland-sounding menu fool you!.
This (noisy) little treasure is most welcome to the Oakland neighborhood! Utilizing a former furniture store (how many of those are left nowadays?), the owners built out a handsome restaurant that is constantly filled to capacity. Hope that your table's not available so that you can sit/stand in the bar area and splurge on one of their very well designed cocktails. The drinks' flavors are subtle and won't offend your palate for the upcoming dinner (unlike so many other restaurants' offerings - like the way-overrated Cyrus (see my scathing (among others) review!). Once you are seated (choose one of those small prayer chairs rather than the incredibly uncomfortable pews (hello - padding needed!), you will be greeted by their very calm, kind staff. They first offer you a choice of sparkling or still water (at no charge for either) - we like to have one of each. Then the fun starts ... their bread is FANTASTIC! And don't skimp on the delicious butter! Now to the menu ... there are generally four selections in each category. The descriptions are extremely limited but rest assured that whatever you choose will be memorable - in a good way! If goat is on the menu, get it! If a salad with tomatoes is on the menu, get it! If polenta is on the menu, get it! And if duck is on the menu, get 2 for yourself! There are lots of unusual pairings of foods and things like nettle soup that may put you off at first but you should try them cause they are great! And don't pass up the desserts! And the cost is really fair. I recently had dinner (yummie duck) and the whole thing cost me $50 (that includes an $11 cocktail). I hate to say it cause I don't want to face the possibility of not being able to get in, but get thee to Camino!
Camino sets out to seduce foodies with an open hearth that turns out new dishes daily, all of them with a sustainable focus..
Russell Moore, former chef and produce buyer for Berkeley's Chez Panisse, opened Camino inside an unlikely location: a former furniture store. True to form, the Alice Waters alum keeps the focus on impeccably fresh, sustainable ingredients and his restaurant would be right at home in the Gourmet Ghetto. It conjures all the warmth and comfort of a best friend's kitchen or a summer campfire, with Basque-style communal tables and ultra comforting fare that is cooked over a hearth brimming with cherry, fig and walnut logs. The fire is the focal point of the restaurant, surrounded by stacked limestones and radiating old world charm that complements Moore's Bordeaux-influenced culinary techniques.