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Somerset- Oakland

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mustardgirl Jun 13, 2007 08:05 PM

Thinking about dinner sunday night for anniversary . Whats the latest on Somerset
Menu looks good.
Wood tavern is booked for Sunday Night

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  1. lexdevil RE: mustardgirl Jun 13, 2007 09:08 PM

    Booked or closed? Cuz if Wood Tavern is open on Sunday night, that's a change in hours. I did read in a recent post that the Sunday lunch is now gone, so perhaps their hours have changed.

    Can't speak to the food at dinner, but the service issues at Somerset at brunch would lead me to expect it to be a frustrating experience for an anniversary dinner. Other Sunday night options in the East Bay include Sea Salt, Oliveto, Rivoli, and A Cote. I'd take any of those over Somerset.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lexdevil
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      dordogne RE: lexdevil Feb 3, 2012 07:37 AM

      Wood Tavern is open for Sunday dinner but not for lunch.

    2. The Dive RE: mustardgirl Jun 14, 2007 09:27 AM

      I wouldn't recommend Somerset for dinner, especially a special one. While the atmosphere is great, the food and service are really subpar (and the ingredient sourcing a problem given the prices). As it stands, I would only go to Somerset for brunch and only because it is really really close and I like the lemon ricotta pancakes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: The Dive
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        pockyjunkie RE: The Dive Jun 17, 2007 02:35 PM

        Service is definitely lacking and the food isn't good enough to make up for it (but it's still expensive). Oh, and watch out for the brunch -- they stop serving the lemon ricotta pancakes well before my concept of brunchtime is over, around 11.

      2. Morton the Mousse RE: mustardgirl Jun 14, 2007 09:47 AM

        Somerset was my worst meal of 2007 to date. Burnt fried chicken. I would not recommend it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Morton the Mousse
          Big Larry RE: Morton the Mousse Jun 14, 2007 09:55 AM

          Same story here with the fried chicken. And it was terribly salty as well.

          1. re: Big Larry
            PegS RE: Big Larry Jun 14, 2007 02:35 PM

            That's too bad. We were there for brunch a month or two after they'd first opened and had such inept service that my DH refused to go back. I've been hoping to get him to try their dinner, but sounds like it's not worth the effort.

        2. Glencora RE: mustardgirl Feb 2, 2012 12:33 PM

          The two main threads I can find about Somerset are both from 2007 and overwhelmingly negative. My MIL and parents go often and like the place. Yelp says it's classy and romantic, but who knows if that's reliable. I've never been, and I'm trying to decide whether to risk a birthday dinner there (not mine). I need someplace for a Sunday and he wants to go somewhere new (to him). Has anyone been there recently?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Glencora
            r
            Rapini RE: Glencora Feb 2, 2012 02:03 PM

            It looks like the Chronicle's 2-1/2 star rating also dates from 2006/2007. I think it's telling that there aren't any recent comments on this board or updates in the newspaper. Among my circle of friends and acquaintances, I don't know anyone who's been there.

            If it's a birthday, why take a chance? In that neighborhood, Wood Tavern and A Cote are very good and serve on Sunday. I'm not familiar with Marica, but it's been favorably mentioned on this board, and is open Sunday as well.

            1. re: Rapini
              Glencora RE: Rapini Feb 2, 2012 03:28 PM

              Thanks. I like A Cote and Wood Tavern, but we've been to both of them a couple times. I'll steer him toward Corso, since that would be for new for him. I suppose it is telling that there's so little here about Somerset, but thought it was possible things had improved since 2007. My MIL adores the fried chicken that Morton the Moose said was burnt. And she's very picky about service, so I thought that might have improved, too.

            2. re: Glencora
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              luciemom RE: Glencora Feb 8, 2012 02:22 PM

              Met some friends there for lunch last month because I knew it would be quiet. Really quiet. There was hardly anyone in there, and yet we had to hunt down and beg the serving staff for menus, bread, drinks and, eventually, the bill. Our salads were very good, when we finally got them, but there's no reason for bad service like that so I won't be returning.

            3. Robert Lauriston RE: mustardgirl Aug 30, 2012 12:16 PM

              Walked by Sunday and noticed it had closed.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston
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                Pius Avocado III RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 30, 2012 12:20 PM

                The owner is opening a new restaurant on Grand which was most recently Taste of Joy.

                http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
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                  rubadubgdub RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 31, 2012 07:42 PM

                  I'm only bemoaning the loss of the bar side bc College Ave has so few places where you can have a nice cocktail. The bartender whose name I forget was quite a talent. The bar was small and quiet but stocked with nice booze. He would devote at least 5 minutes to crafting your drink, which could involve extensive shaking, layering, fanciful designs drawn with bitters, etc. I always wanted to try a dessert drink because there was flaming involved. If anyone knows his name (I know he's on Facebook bc he gave us a card one time) and where he has gone, pls post it here.

                  1. re: rubadubgdub
                    Glencora RE: rubadubgdub Aug 31, 2012 09:20 PM

                    Fanciful designs drawn with bitters?

                    1. re: Glencora
                      r
                      rubadubgdub RE: Glencora Aug 31, 2012 09:23 PM

                      Yes, he would use an eyedropper to place little droplets of bitters or amaro and then run a toothpick through to create a design.

                    2. re: rubadubgdub
                      Robert Lauriston RE: rubadubgdub Sep 1, 2012 10:07 AM

                      Have you been to the expanded Toast with full bar?

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844261

                  2. j
                    jaiko RE: mustardgirl Aug 31, 2012 07:03 PM

                    Somerset's building & lease is for sale. Lovely space, but we went for dinner in 2009 and were very unimpressed with both food and service.

                    You could try Five in the Hotel Shattuck in Berkeley. They're usually not that busy, and I think Chef Banks White is a genius. Beautiful dining room, excellent service. Portions are modest, designed for multi-course meals. We go every few months, were last there in mid-May. Duck sausage flatbread and grilled prawns with Moroccan spices and crispy chickpeas were outstanding! Halibut and lamb tenderloin were perfect. Desserts are excellent; coffee is strong (which we like).

                    We like Wood Tavern but we think Five is better and more creative.

                    Normally I would recommend Meritage @Claremont Hotel - stunning view, the food can be extremely good (they do vegetables especially well) and everything available in half-portions for easy grazing....BUT, ExecChef Josh Thomsen just left for the East Coast, and there's no word on whether Sous Chef Manjee is staying, per Chron's 8/29/2012 column. Thomsen's replacement is Josh Ladd, previously executive sous chef at Meritage. With the chef change, I'd wait a few months until we can see what direction Ladd will take. Meritage had a filet mignon Rossini standard on the menu until the foie gras ban happened; we loved it and always ordered it.

                    1. Robert Lauriston RE: mustardgirl Sep 24, 2012 09:43 AM

                      The Chron reports that James Syhabout is taking over the space. Concept TBD.

                      http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 5, 2012 02:28 PM

                        Inside Scoop has more on the Syhabout project: name will be Box and Bells (?), food sounds like sort of semi-southern style, will do some pop-ups Sunday nights at Hawker Fare starting in January:

                        http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

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