Improved and expanded Dopo
Went to the remodeled Dopo last night around 9:30. Parked right in front, walked in, sat right down as the expanded place was only about half full (probably the same number of customers that would have meant a line at the old place), though they said there's still a line on weekends. No longer need to go out in the alley to get to the bathroom. More comfortable furniture, new tables have smoother tops.
Food was as good as ever. Antipasto misto for 2 ($24) included a sauteed Gulf shrimp crostone, fregola with lamb meatballs, and a plump housemade sausage spiced with fennel, black pepper, and hot pepper with lentils. This was very substantial, would have made a good meal for one. Followed with malloreddus (Sardinian saffron gnocchi) and a rapini pizza.
4293 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611
I did have a twenty minute wait on a Tuesday night last week, so the waits aren't entirely gone. But the food was well worth it.
One thing I forgot to say, Dopo uses more salt than some people would think proper. Anybody who frequently thinks restaurants overdo it with the salt should probably go elsewhere.
Eating at Dopo is really a taste treat. They really know how to unlock flavors, even on the simple stuff like salads and pizza. Just shows what talent and focus can achieve.
Everytime I eat at Dopo, I wish I could eat there every week. I was there tonight, and every bite was just a delight. We shared a plate of the wild fennel salumi, then the antipasto misto, which was an Anson Mills polenta cake with pancetta, radicciho and an egg, a squid and white bean salad, and a sliced mushroom and radish salad, and all of those were just perfect. But man, my dungeness crab pasta was everything that pasta should be -- even my mother, who doesn't eat pasta, loved it when I made her take a bite.
The other thing that I really enjoy about Dopo is that the service is so warm, from the owners down to the busboys, and the service is always perfectly in step. Someone always notices when the wine glass is getting a little low, plates are taken away at the perfect time (and they ask first, which I appreciate), and the staff is very well informed about the menu.
And I have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.
I completely agree that Dopo knows how to highlight true flavor in the simple dishes. They also have no-nonsense service and an atmosphere that is perfectly situated between casual and trendy.