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Help me decide! Adesso/Camino or Plum

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I'm really torn on where to take my cousin for her birthday. I am debating either going to Adesso for salumi and cocktails followed by Camino or dinner at Plum. I have been to both places but not Adesso and really want to check it out. I am leaning towards Plum, I really enjoy that place but I also have a blackboard eats coupon to Camino which makes it very tempting! I don't know what to do maybe flip a coin?

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Adesso
4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

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  1. I'll simplify this for you. I believe Miss Manners says no coupons, groupons, bloomspots or what have you for birthday meals. So you're going to Plum. ;)

    Okay, more serious now. I've only been once--and admittedly it was just a week after a visit to Sicily and Rome--but I found Adesso distinctly underwhelming with very scattered service. Yes the salumi was good, but I wouldn't bend my plans around going there.

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    Adesso
    4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

    4 Replies
    1. re: Leely2

      Haha bringing a coupon is quite lame, especially for dinner! But this isn't a date, if it was I would know better! Thanks for your input though.

      1. re: Leely2

        I've always had good service at Adesso. The salumi is great, only problem is choosing, since they now have something like 50 to choose from.

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        Camino
        3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

        Adesso
        4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

        Plum
        2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I would do Adesso/Camino if you expect a boozy drinks + meal, Plum if she's especially into food. I enjoy all three places but the setting at Plum is a touch bleak and cool, whereas Adesso and especially Camino are warm, cozy and cheerful.

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          Adesso
          4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

          1. re: bgbc

            The wine list at Plum is nice, avoid the cocktails.

      2. My cousin has only experienced Plum with the late night menu so we ended up there. Had a great meal and most importantly she was very happy with the choice :)

        1. I will confess:
          I'm a huge huge fan of Camino -- both the food and the drinks. but the menu is limited, so I'd check it first and see if it appeals.

          I also don't see a problem whatsoever in using a coupon for someone's bday -- who cares about Ms. Manners?! It's not about how many pesos you spend; it's about having a great time.

          1. I'm torn on Plum. Went there for a Valentine's Day prixe fixe and though it was great. A revisit on a 'normal' night and I though many of the flavors were a little muted and frankly the portion sizes were small - a few dishes outrageously so in my regard.

            I love Adesso, but for dinner you can really only fill up on oysters, cured meat and booze. I've done it, and enjoyed it, but it's not for everyone.

            Camino continues to be my go-to for a great meal. The menu is limited - there are generally only a veggie, meat and fish entree each night - but while it may not impress on paper on the plate it's never been anything other than fantastic. The starters are often even better than the mains, the wine selection is good and the cocktails are really interesting. It's just a solid restaurant. I'm not entirely crazy about the communal seating, but it's a small gripe.

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            Adesso
            4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: epicurious_sf

              Plum is pricey but cheaper than most places serving similarly sophisticated food.

              Only half the seating at Camino is at the long tables, you could request a regular table when reserving. Except for sold-out special events I've never seen parties at the long tables seated any closer together than in the rest of the place.

              1. re: epicurious_sf

                I really like both places and both are very good at what they do. I too felt that I didn't see the value in some dishes and the portions can be quite small. But I really like that it is "tweezer food" at a more affordable but definitely not CHEAP price and that you don't have to do a full blown tasting menu to experience it.

                1. re: Justin L

                  I've loved Plum the three meals I've eaten there, but also been puzzled by their courses/pricing. As far as I know there isn't usually a tasting menu, but the prices of the dishes are and average of $12 or so, so you can pick and choose several for your own menu. The oddness (and this was especially noticeable the two times I went with vegetarians) is that the veggie dishes are some of the most likely to be a bit skimpy. I haven't been disappointed at all with the portions of meat or fish, (which, when sourced well, as they claim and taste, are quite expensive), though I've generally been disappointed with the size of the veggie dishes. The taste has been great, but portions for say, a $12 dish of asparagus are astonishingly small, given the relative cost of asparagus. It also makes it a bit difficult to pick a menu given the dish listings, as it isn't obvious what dishes will be filling vs. not.

                  1. re: ...tm...

                    The first time I went there the server suggested that we think of the menu "post-structurally", which is a bit pedantic, but a good thought. It's not about apps and entrees.

                    Back to your question, I agree, the veg dishes (the ones I really enjoy) do seem pretty pricey for the size.