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Apr 15, 2013 09:35 PM

Tribune Tavern Debut [Oakland]

Trib Tavern, open for only five days, made a very favorable impression. The restaurant is in a good looking and fun space. The hostess, bartender and wait staff were very warm and welcoming. Strong cocktail selection. The menu was a fresh take on familiar dishes. We started with the pork rillette with currant jam and a salad of kale, cauliflower and a very understated cheddar. Both were fine starters and nicely portioned to share. One of the daily steaks was a bavette which was served with breakfast like potatoes and a very creamy kale. I appreciate ordering a steak that comes with yummy sides. The negatives: The interesting wines on tap were served much too warm even for red wines. The side dishes were served w/o utensils. And, even though we shared the entree we should not have to use bread plates. All told, a nice addition to downtown.

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  1. Went last night.

    Beautiful space (former Tribune city room). The place is huge and was packed. When I made the reservation in the afternoon there were tables open all night, I guess people just didn't think to reserve or went on impulse.

    The kale salad was a great starter for a warm evening.

    House-made bread (served on request) was some of the best rye bread I've had in a while. Made me want to go back for lunch and try the pastrami sandwich.

    Griddled ox tongue was fantastic, best tongue dish ever. If you think you don't like tongue, try this.

    Pork trotter and cheek fritters, excellent, great crunch with an unctuous center.

    Fried half chicken, really good, crunchy, juicy, came with a nice side of mustard greens. Up there with Miss Ollie's.

    Cheeseburger, medium-rare as ordered, great beefy patty, house-made bun was good though next time I'll ask for them to toast it extra.

    We were pretty full (took a couple of pieces of chicken home) but the bread was so good we wanted to see what else the pastry chef had up his sleeve. Goat cheesecake was lovely. Knickerbocker Glory was a trifle-like dish served in a sundae glass with ice cream, little meringue balls, whipped cream, and raspberry? gelatin. Few people in this country realize how good gelatin can be when made with real fruit. Dessert servings were pleasantly modest, good fit for the rich food.

    This is a great addition to downtown. There's really nothing like it in Oakland. Closest would be Pican or Bocanova.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Forgot to mention the wines. We had the Sauvignon Blanc, rosé, and Pinot Noir on tap, all tasty and served at appropriate temperatures.

    2. Went for brunch yesterday and had the Guilty Breakfast, a variation on poutine with fries, a lot of pulled pork, pickled peppers, beer and cheddar fondue, and a fried egg on top. Very good. The pickled peppers really made the dish.

      Didn't have room for dessert but I saw from the menu that they're varying the Knickerbocker Glory with the seasons. Yesterday it had basil ice cream, peach gelatin, and plum jelly.

      1. had a burger (12) and mussels (9) appetitzers a while ago
        -everything was tasteless. french fries were limp, definitely been sitting aorund awhile. mcd's fries is better.

        housemade dejon mustard tasted funny.
        neighboring table had salad, banh mi, et al. all uneaten.

        waiter disappeared after bringing the food. thus, no service
        the spring water was the hit of the dining experience

        note: disco volante credits tribune tavern for their abrupt demise.

        1. Went a couple times in the May-June timeframe. My experience was in between Robert's and Shanghaikid's. Drinks were in general good. Did not like a mint julep inspired concoction, but really liked their milk punch a lot (a clarified milk recipe served as a larger portion). Had some interesting wines on tap, the one we tried was quite good.

          Food wasn't quite there. I like the general direction of the menu, but execution seemed a little off. Hamburger was the best thing I had, could have used better meat and/or a little more seasoning. Cooked correctly medium rare on request. Shepherd's pie was a little dry and could have used a little more herbs or spice and salt. Charcuterie plate was good. Short ribs again seemed like a decent recipe but ended up a little lacking in oomph almost as if the sauce was a little dilute.

          Service was so so the first time and downright bad the second. We waited so long even to order we had to find the hostess again to get a manager to get us our server; even then long stretches with no contact. They did end up comping us our drinks.

          I would try again, but mainly in hopes the food execution gets better. I am more tolerant of bad service than my partner, I don't think she'll go back unless I tell her reports have greatly improved.

          1. Any updates? Did the dry-aged beef end up working out? I went about a year ago and wondering if I should go out of my way to go back. Thank you!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Ashley12

              I think they dropped the plans for the meat program.