Wait… do you love the name of this series, or do you love the name of this series?? I had a flippin’ lightbulb, Bay-Appetit, Bon-Appetit… get it?? I thought it was genius, haha. My idea for these reviews and recommendations comes from my own personal struggle of finding the best spots for grub when I first moved to California. I’m not hard to please, but I think I always look for a few common denominators when someplace is becoming a favorite of mine. For me, atmosphere, drink selection and pricing are my focuses when choosing somewhere to go with friends, a date, or even a solo meal. My man, on the other hand, is a stickler for beer options (particularly IPA’s), portion size and service. It was just Oakland Restaurant Week 2017 and I have two spots for you to read about, and potentially dig in for some good bay area eats. First up, is Clove & Hoof, a restaurant and sustainable butchery in one.
At first I didn’t really know what to expect from this butcher’s and dine-in spot, but I have heard great things and wanted to check it out for myself. Disclaimer: Cory and I love meat. I mean we love it. There is never a chance in hell we would be vegetarians. Just putting that out there. So this menu was right up our alley. I also loved the idea of everything being made in-house, which always is a plus, as well as the “sustainable” portion. They literally use all parts possible of the animal for various cuts of meat, cooking fats, chilli, soups, sauces, etc. You can even buy a whole heart or tounge! I don’t know about that though….
All in all, I would definitely re-vist. It’s a bit pricey for a counter-order style place, (I think we paid like $32 for our food with no drinks) but you get what you pay for. Large portions, friendly service and quality house-made grub. The setting was intimate, but casual, and there was a decent crowd there filling nearly all the small tables and counter. I really thought it was a cool interior because of the modern, industrial look, and the coolers showcasing all the meats. Take a walk back towards the restroom.. on your left is the butcher cooler with the animals hanging (sounds gruesome but actually is really cool) and on the right are hundreds of different cookbooks which I ogled at while I was there. The bathrooms also have quirky framed decor and old fashioned photos.
Here’s a quick bonus tid-bit from a restaurant I checked out with girlfriends for Restaurant Week! A quick style rundown of my outfit that night, I have labeled where everything is from but I linked some similar styles if I couldn’t find the exact item!
Tank Top: Similar Here at Lulu*s
Embroidered Jeans: Forever 21
Logo 1″ Belt: Tory Burch
Pink Duster Coat: Forever 21
We ate at Lungomare, an italian restaurant in Jack London Square. To be honest with you, I was hesitant about coming here because the Yelp! Reviews are mediocre, but the Restaurant Week menu was one of the best I’d seen, so I figured it was worth a shot. For $30 per person, you got an appetizer, entree, dessert, and ……. ENDLESS WINE!!! Of course this was a selling point for me. The restaurant is really pretty from the outside, and I imagine it’s a great patio to soak up some sun in the warmer weather.
I forgot to take a photo of my appetizer, but I had some yummy basil/pesto arancini (basically fried rice and cheese balls, similar to risotto texture) with a tomato dipping sauce. This was the best appetizer at our table, and they gave you like six of them which I thought was a decent serving! The girls got buratta, which I normally love but the crackers looked uninspired and it was a small bit of cheese for sure. This also came with a couple slices of raw salmon, which I loathe, so clearly it was not the choice for me.
My entree was sweet, but the perfect amount with some savory Parmesan on top! It was butternut squash filled ravioli, with pine nuts, brussel sprouts (my favorite), brown butter and sage. I literally ate every bite. So good. We ended it all with tiramasu, yes we all got the same dessert, and of course one more glass of wine. The wine was great too, a Cabernet made in Mendocino County, from Rockwall, which I have on my list of places to check out! All in all, my experience was good, our server was attentive and the restaurant was bustling. I could see the place looking a little stiff without a crowd filling it, but I felt warm and cozy and had some wonderful conversation with two of my girlfriends.