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Commis - Yes I went

Scott M Mar 25, 2010 06:02 PM

What did I end up eating? Crow.

Okay, I was initally turned off by the descriptions of a bare, stark minimalist dining room. The early reports of smallish portions, and the quick price increase of the menu.

I wanted to dislike Commis, but I actually thought it was quite good. The room was a little too bland for my taste. Every little scuff on a wall is noticeable when there is nothing else to detract one's eye from it. However the portions were adequate, except for the dessert which could have been a bite or two bigger. The service was friendly and not at all stuffy. Overall, everything was well executed.

All things considered the price is reasonable. One thing I liked was that when it came to the bill there were no surprises at the end of the evening. Some places you can add an extra course, or get caviar, or get something extra for a supplemental charge and next thing you know the bill is much higher than expected. At Commis they don't play any games with supplemental charges, and add-ons which was refreshing.

I would and probably will go back. It is a good addition to the East Bay dining scene.

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Commis
3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

  1. singleguychef Mar 26, 2010 11:25 AM

    LOL, funny. Did you try the new counter tasting menu or had the regular prix fixe?

    6 Replies
    1. re: singleguychef
      d
      dordogne Mar 26, 2010 11:40 AM

      Nothing about the tasting menu on the Commis website. Would you kindly say more?

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      Commis
      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

      1. re: dordogne
        singleguychef Mar 26, 2010 04:31 PM

        There was a report awhile back that Commis would start a five-course chef's menu served only at the bar counter seats in late February. I forgot the price, maybe $79? But I haven't had a chance to check it out. Not sure if anyone on this board has gone since. So that's why I asked Scott if he did it.

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        Commis
        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

        1. re: singleguychef
          Scott M Mar 26, 2010 04:53 PM

          No, I did not eat at the bar counter and just had three courses, plus the standard amuse and the soda.

          1. re: singleguychef
            k
            Kelley Apr 4, 2010 12:15 AM

            We sat at the Chef's Counter last Saturday for the special tasting menu. For just the 6 counter seats they start the dinner service at 7pm and we left about 11. The number of courses varies, our night it was 9 courses for $115.00 and wine pairings were $69 so you do not really get a Oakland location discount. But it was great and we so enjoyed it all!

            Dinner started with Jame's poached farm egg which was special the first few times we had it but it is getting old now. A fennel soup followed then Monterey Bay sardines, lightly cured. The beetroot salad was excellent and the "seed candy" on it was really like candy. The "cutting celery" had such intense flavor. James said he uses a cryo treatment to burst the cells which is why the celery had such an intense flavor. I was thinking he might be pulling my leg for we had chatted him up perhaps too much through out the dinner.

            Confit of cod, cod tripe was next then baby abalone. A decadent corned port jowl salad and an incredible slow roast of bison sirloin course. The dessert was so special - frozen avocado mousse with cara cara orange, flowering cilantro and orange blossom meringue.

            The serving sizes were perfect and we left full but not uncomfortable and very happy. The wine pairings were excellent and the staff so friendly and accommodating.,

            You can' t make reservations for just the Chef's Counter part of Commis on Open Table but must call Commis.directly. The regular tables are available thru Open Table.

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            Commis
            3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

            1. re: Kelley
              singleguychef Apr 5, 2010 01:22 PM

              Thanks Kelley. I laughed about your comment about the poached egg. I love it too but I can see it getting old if you go regularly and get served that often. I have to check out the tasting menu sometime!

            2. re: singleguychef
              s
              skwid Apr 5, 2010 08:59 AM

              That would have been me who mentioned the bar tasting menu back in mid Feb (we went on the 13th for Valentines day) :) They started this seating at the end of February.

              As described by Kelley they are doing a single seating for the tasting menu at the bar (you might be able to get a seat at the bar right when they open but need to be done by 7:00 p.m.). Any time you want a bar seat you will need to call (even before they started the tasting menu you had to call).

        2. m
          margieco Mar 25, 2010 07:23 PM

          I went the other night and agree the most things were well-executed and the presentation and service was nice. I found the main dishes were a bit, well, bland and the preparations (both of our main courses were poached then seared) were too similar. I hate to admit that I was a bit disappointed but then I went in with very high expectations.

          1. lexdevil Mar 25, 2010 06:07 PM

            I'm just glad to read that you found the crow tasty. And I'm really impressed by your willingness to be so public about your change of opinion.

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