anniversary dinner in Oakland area
We're celebrating our anniversary by staying at the Claremont Resort next weekend. Not knowing anything about the restaurant scene in Oakland, I thought I'd seek advice from you experts. My husband is carnivorous and will eat any manner of animal; I only eat chicken and seafood. We're adventurous eaters and would prefer quality food and quiet atmosphere to trendy, pretentious cutting-edge places. Any suggestions?
re: Robert Lauriston
I'd try for Oliveto. It's a nce dining room, not that noisy, and the food has been great whenever I've eaten there.
Chez Panisse, if you could get a res., is sometimes hit or miss. The last time I was there is was mediocre at best, the time before, it was amazing. At those prices, I'm waiting til somebody treats.
I also really like JoJo on Piedmont Avenue. I haven't been there in a while, but it has always been stellar. It's smallish, with lovely decor and a relatively quiet atmosphere, i.e., no loud music blaring over loud conversations and laughter, making conversation impossible. Chez P and Oliveto are also relatively quiet.
I have yet to get a mediocre meal or even dish at Chez Panisse. I had a typically great dinner downstairs just the other night, every dish was perfect:
warm pâté en croûte with pickled vegetables and house-made whole-grain mustard
Petrale sole pan-fried in butter
grilled duck breast with green beans, sweet corn, and garlic potato purée
cheese plate (I forget which cheeses)
blackberry and nectarine sherbets with Champagne gelée
mint tisane with mignardises
Both Oliveto or Chez Panisse (either the more formal restaurant downstairs or the cafe upstairs) would be great for an anniversary dinner, and would work for your tastes. It may be tough to get reservations at CP at this date, but I've gotten reservations from them not far in advance before, so I'd definitely call. It's not quite as hard to get reservations for Oliveto, but I'd call both places as soon as possible to check. Both definitely have a nice atmosphere and quality food.
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709
5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618