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Geezers Want Great Dinner in Oaktown

We're going out to dinner with friends from Brooklyn in Oakland tonight. I would say that the noise level is almost as important as good food. Any suggestions? Price, unless it's REALLY expensive, is not a problem.

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  1. My first choice for a quiet dinner is A Cote, provided I can get a reservation in the back room.

    Oliveto, Uzen, Bay Wolf, Champa Garden, Cafe Colucci, Encuentro, Bocanova, and Pyung Chang are all quiet and have good food.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      That's an eclectic group.

      Noise can be so variable, as it can fluctuate depending on what day it is, how crowded the restaurant is, where you are sitting, etc. Unless I knew that the "geezers" liked casual "ethnic" places I'd go with something safe like Bay Wolf (except that I just looked at their website and they are closed tonight).

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Even the back room is quite loud when busy and the Dinning room is darn loud 4 Bells in the Chron.
        And Colucci is deafening

        1. re: chefj

          The back room at A Cote has been full at least part of the time almost every time I've eaten there and it has never been noisy. That's one of the main reasons I go there a lot.

      2. +1 on Bay Wolf (depending on what you mean by "REALLY" expensive).

        1. Not a quiet place overall (to say the least), but at A16 the two tables in the front by the old garage door are placed so that it's quiet enough for a party of four to chat. They actually appear to have reservations available tonight, so might be worth a call to see if they can guarantee you one of those tables. If you are willing to do Berkeley instead of Oakland, Riva Cucina is fairly quiet. Anyone know if Marzano on Park is quiet? I heard a rumor once that it wasn't too loud but can't attest from personal experience. Also Soi Four often is fine on the first floor.

          1. Oakjoan-

            What about Commis? It is expensive, but not REALLY expensive.

            ;)

            Table for 4 available,early or late tonight.

            Good luck,

            Boopa

            1 Reply
            1. re: boopa

              I had the same thought re: quiet; but $95 per person, and $150 per with wine pairings (which you really should do here), is definitely REALLY expensive.

            2. The times I have been to Haven it has been quiet enough to hold a conversation without raised voices or yelling.

              1 Reply
              1. If they are "meat & potatoes" people, I'll offer an unusual choice: The Terrace Room at the Lake Merritt Hotel (which is now a senior's residence). The slightly-faded 1940's nightclub-turned-DR still has the hand-painted pastel mural of a "frozen in time" 1956 Lake Merritt scenic view. Looking out onto the Lake at nighttime is absolutely lovely.

                We ate there in 2009; thought it was just okay but the atmosphere was great. Returned in late 2013 to have dinner with a friend who now lives there, and was surprised by how much better the cooking had gotten. The plates are generous (half-portions are not listed but available upon request) and the meats - lamb sirloin and flat-iron steak were excellent (note the kitchen tends to cook meat to the 'well-done' side, so insist upon the "rare side of medium-rare" and it will be perfect MR).

                The food is not fancy in concept, but neither is it fashionably scant. Every plate has a starch, a meat, and a vegetable. As The Terrace Room is the dining room for the senior facility residents, they are careful about excess salt, leave off the rich sauces, and they cook their vegetables to that perfect in-between where it's not mushy or unpleasantly half-raw. The starter salads were nicely handled. Dessert is weak; but we asked for extra bourbon on the bread pudding w/bourbon caramel and they obliged with a real wallop! Coffee is Peerless and properly strong, good both reg & decaf.

                Overall we were very pleased with our dinner at The Terrace Room. It's a wonderful old-style room, with pleasant and attentive waitstaff who seem a bit better trained than previously. The view is unexcelled, day or night, and all the entrées were executed with more consistency and skill than a good many flashier new restaurants we've gone to.

                We rank Terrace Room a B+ on food, but they get up to an "A" when you include that unique DR. There's nothing else like it in Oakland. We personally dislike Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill, which we consider only good for drinks. We had such an incredibly unpleasant experience with their waitstaff during a family dinner a few years ago (all the way from reception stand to getting the bill) that all of us vowed never to return.