Feedback on Somerset in Oakland?
Has anyone tried Somerset on College Avenue in Oakland? We've tried it twice (Dinner and Brunch) and are still waiting for a reason to go back.
Definitely lacking in the Service area. The staff is really sub par. English is their 2nd language and there can be communication problems. Not a very warm,friendly Manager either.
The food was mediocre. I had a decent Caesar and Fried Chicken, that was below decent. My Partner had a very nice mixed green salad and VERY small piece of salmon.
Brunch was much better in terms of food. Service still very lacking...
Would welcome other feedback.....
I have been several times, for brunch and dinner. Brunch is the safer choice. It is on the expensive side. Food is fine, not great. Dinner has unwelcome surprises. Chicken pot pie is spicy. Goat cheese souffle is good. Everything is slightly off kilter. Salmon is small piece, with spicy rice. Never is spice mentioned on the menu. It is presented as upscale California cuisine, but I have to ask everytime I order whether something is normal or spicy. The staff don't communicate well at all. I am under the impression that they came from San Francisco with the owners, which makes the problem more mysterious. I have to ask two or three times for something, they cannot answer questions about the menu (and there are always questions about the menu), they have to go get the manager. During the spinach scare, they had at least 6 dishes on the menu that included spinach. They waited until you were ready to order, then told you that you could not have anything with spinach in it. Fine, but tell me the menu limitations before you take my order. They would not make anything that had spinach as an ingredient. Understandable for items such as a spinach salad. Unnacceptable for an egg scramble with 5 other ingredients. Just don't put the spinach in it. They could not process this. So the menu only had 5 real choices for weeks.
Here's the original thread that discuss the new Sommerset: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32838...
I consider Sommerset a good go-to place in Rockridge when I want something nice but don't want to deal with the scene, for example, at Wood Tavern. Sommerset's menu is very eclectic so you have to know what to order. It is hit and miss. I do like their brunch with anything having lemon ricotta. Also, the fish for dinner always seem to be done well.
I think the room is cozy, the patio is nice on the sunny day, and I haven't had any problem with the service each time I've been there. Even though some don't speak English that well, they all were friendly to me and helpful. I never had any problem with waiting for a long time or not getting things that I requested.
I had a really lousy dinner there and won't return.
Not sure how they qualify as Cal cuisine given zero menu transparency. The waiter couldn't tell us where any of the meat came from, no indication of organic produce. Besides all that, the execution ranged from mediocre to downright awful. We couldn't finish any of the dishes because they just didn't taste good (burnt fried chicken; heavy, imbalanced pot pie). I was a lot more impressed with the food at Wood Tavern.
I've only had brunch there, and I agree that the food was too expensive for what it was. It all tasted good, but not as good as the prices. I also really agree that the service is poor, friendly, but poor -- the communication problems are really frustrating, and I expected that to go away after a while, but it hasn't really. It's disappointing to me, because I was really looking forward to the opening of this place, since it's right in my neighborhood and I heard raves from friends of mine about Miss Millies.
I've been okay with the service and menu options, but my number one complaint is the lack of ingredient source information. Is anything organic? Is the fish wild? The fried chicken was ok -- kind of bland and the gravy needs to be served on the side. They overcook the duck (and don't ask how you want it). However, I love the lemon ricotta pancakes at brunch and the coconut cake is quiet good. I'm probably just going to stick to those if we go.