A week after we moved for the second time in six months, my husband and I were both so exhausted, we couldn’t even fathom slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, let alone a proper dinner. It was hard to focus on anything after the month we’d had–finding out that our landlord wanted to sell our apartment after we had moved there from across the country five months earlier, fighting with him to let us stay until the end of our lease, losing, and finding/moving into another apartment.
It was a week night, we were poor from the move, and we felt like zombies, but sometimes, you just need a good meal to get you back on track. I really believe that. I stumbled upon a random restaurant yelp that sounded exactly like what we needed–upscale comfort food in a friendly environment just a few blocks from our new place: Bay Wolf.
Nevermind that I could not say the name without calling it Beowolf.
Bay Wolf is described as a New American restaurant that focuses on quality, simple food. Their kitchen runs by the motto of food writer Elizabeth David, to cook “with care and skill, regard for the quality of the materials, without extravagance or pretension.” The restaurant has been around for 30 years, and changed personalities through that time. Today, the restaurant promotes itself as a neighborhood hang out with extremely high standards.
My husband started with a daily special, the calamari with black eyed peas, peppers and tomatoes. This was a really refreshing starter, rich and yet light all at once.
My starter…was not as light, and totally by my choice. Their house-smoked pork with poached egg and crispy potatoes was like a really decadent brunch dish, only smaller. The pork was super smokey, the egg was poached so it was still gooey on the inside, creating a salad dressing of sorts for the crispy potatoes and greens. Yum. So good.
My husband’s main was a great choice, my favorite of the two for the evening (isn’t that how it always happens?), was the grilled marinated skirt steak with macaroni and cheese and basil pesto. The steak was super flavorful, as was the pesto, and who doesn’t like mac and cheese? This dish exuded comfort, and was exactly what we needed.
I had the Liberty Ranch duck with coriander corn cakes and Bing cherries, which was really good, but another rich dish (didn’t really think that choice out). The duck was cooked nicely, not too red, not overcooked, and the corn cakes were delicious. They did start disintegrating as soon as the sauce touched them though, which made it a bit hard to eat. I almost wanted a bit more fresh cherry flavor to cut through all the rich flavors, but overall, I was happy with the dish.
I have to say, service was really excellent. We never had to wait too long, were never rushed, and our waitress was super nice and explained anything we needed. I don’t often point out service because honestly, it often does not impress me, but at this restaurant, I really noticed an attention to detail, and I appreciated it.
In conclusion…go here! It’s slightly pricey but not terrible, and has such a friendly atmosphere, and really rejuvenated two very down souls on a lonely week night. Go for the smoked pork and egg dish alone!!
PS~I would just like to point out that all the photos for this post were taken with my new cell phone, the HTC EVO, which is not an iPhone 4, thank you very much. I was really impressed with the high quality photos the camera gave me back from my dinner–the phone even has a flash! Considering my last phone was a Razor, I’m pretty stoked with my new choice. A very food-friendly phone!
3853 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, California 94611