Camino crab et. al. [Oakland]
A lovely meal @ Camino last night. 8:15 res; and the restaurant wasn't very crowded (which worried me a tad re how they're doing--even though it's been busy other times we've been; and this made for a nice, quiet dinner).
Their cocktails are always well done--and my vermouth cocktail last night was no exception. My husband enjoyed his cava.
Their crab cooked in the open fire has got to be the best crab in the Bay Area. Never disappoints. And everything else was very good as well. An especially well conceived/dressed salad of chicories and radish with a dressing made from house made vinegar to start. And my husband enjoyed his lamb salad to start and oyster/chanterelle mushroom/burdock/wild nettle stew as a main.
I had roasted (also in the wood oven) apples and quince with ricotta and benne wafers--a perfect, not too sweet or rich, nicely balanced seasonal dessert.
The service was, as always, the right blend of personal and professional.
And the bill was very reasonable--I think around $80.
We had decided to go out for a nice meal because we were both so upset about the Newtown CT shootings and needed some nurturing. Camino did that for us.
I had the crab on Saturday as well. I can't agree with you more. The slight char flavor, and the intense dry roasted crab flavor was delicious and so simple. I've always had steamed or fried Asian crab preps, but fire roasted is the way to go.
FYI, they have a 3 course dungeness menu on Mondays in December and January.
Tonight's $35 prix-fixe is:
Crab bisque with pickled chiles and croutons
Half a Dungeness crab grilled in the fireplace with radicchio salad, farro, rutabaga, and green garlic mayonnaise (add another half a crab $13)
Rice pudding with tea poached prunes
Isn't it awfully early for green garlic? They had some at Benchmark yesterday.