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Sep 28, 2010 05:24 PM

Commis - Chef Counter or Regular Table?


I am taking my wife to Commis for her b-day, and wanted to ask anyone who has sat at both of these spots which they prefer and why....

I've read about the Chef Counter and it sounds nice, but if you've done that and sat at the regular table which would you do again...and why?


3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

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  1. I've sat at both and it just depends on how you enjoy to have your meal. At the counter the chefs won't be openly conversing with you as they are busy. But if you like to watch this sort of thing then it is a nice place to eat. You get to watch them create the entire menu right in front of you as the kitchen area is pretty small. I'd only eat at the counter if there are two in my party as with three or more conversing amongst yourselves is more difficult. At a table you are more isolated and can just concentrate on having a nice meal at a fine restaurant.

    1. Yeah, I agree with skwid. I've eaten at both and have had a great time both times. If it's just you and your wife, and you both like watching chefs in action, then the Chef's Counter is excellent if you can snag a reservation. Note that the last time I checked, you HAVE to get the six-course tasting menu at the Chef's Counter--the regular 3-course is not available there. (This policy wasn't in effect yet the two times I ate there.) So that may be a factor, especially if price is a consideration.

      I know they were thinking about shifting to a 4-course menu across the board, but I can't tell from looking at the website if that has happened yet.

      4 Replies
      1. re: abstractpoet

        They have shifted to the 4 course menu now. I talked to them last week and snagged a reservation for the 9th at the counter.

        1. re: skwid

          Thanks for the update. Would you happen to know what the price is now? Again, it doesn't seem to say on the website.

          1. re: abstractpoet

            Won't know the price until next week. I didn't ask the price when I made the reservation

            1. re: abstractpoet

              I called two weeks ago to make a reservation for mid-October and was able to get counter seats. I asked if it's going to be a tasting menu, she said no, it's going to be 4-courses for $68. She also said between the two of us, we can pretty much order one of everything on the menu. I'm totally looking forward to it!

        2. Oh, and I wanted to add that if you have more than two in your group and still want a view of the kitchen, you can try to request the table at the very front of the restaurant, the one nearest to the window. That's where my group sat for my birthday dinner, and the two of us who were facing the kitchen could still see some of the action, though obviously you can see a lot more at the Chef's Counter.

          1. I have eaten there twice and sat at the counter both times. To be honest the only reason I personally would want to sit at a table is if I was with more than one person. Other than that it is a great experience and a lot of fun to watch. It's like dinner and a show for foodies!

            1. Is there still a special night when they do a chef's table at the counter, with a special set of courses? We went last night (loved it) and had the same food as those at the tables.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dgoldentyer

                The menu is the same at the counter as at the tables. They at one time did a single seating at the counter with a different menu but have stopped that.

                The four course menu is $68 and we got three amuse's in addition to the four courses (and they will modify the amuse if you have a food alergy as they did for us this past thursday).