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Mar 25, 2012 11:40 PM

A Coté: A Flashlight on the Side? [Oakland]

Wife and I had dinner at A Coté tonight. We had the romaine salad, crispy artichokes w/pimenton aioli, pancetta wrapped quail with grilled radicchio and polenta, and pork ribs with beans.

At least I think we did. It was all delicious, but the lighting is so dim that I couldn't guarantee that's what we actually eat. My wife worked on the ribs for about two minutes and was getting really frustrated because she couldn't find any meat. Finally she discovered that all the meat was on the bottom side of the ribs and found the beans, which she couldn't see at all. I was hacking away at the quail without being able to see where I was cutting, but finally managed to get at the meat by picking the bird up with my hands.

We have these little flash lights that attach to a key chain and had to use them to read the menu, navigate our plates, and read the bill. I understand low light can create an intimate atmosphere, but you can't leave your customers in the dark unless you're running one of those restaurants that are purposely set up with no light at all so people can have the experience of eating mystery foods they can't see.

I mean the food was really excellent, but I don't think we'll be returning unless they provide enough light to see the food.

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  1. Huh, I'm regularly impressed there by how they manage to light the table while leaving the customers in flattering dim light. Maybe that table needs its lights adjusted.

    1. It's funny.I ate there at the bar last month and had the same problem reading the menu and bill with my low light challenged eyes.The bar tender pulled out a small flashlight from behind the bar that helped.Evidently others have been challenged by the super low lights.The food as usual was as good as always.

      1. I like the lighting there. If it keeps even one person away when I want a table, it's even better.

        1. At A Cote I am forever young and attractive. I hope they never change the lighting.