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- 51%Business Travelers
- 51%Luxury Travelers
Member Reviews (6)
- Wood TavernMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 3Jul 04, 2012
My wife and I were in the East Bay and were in need of a place where we could sip on a beverage. A friend suggested we check out Wood Tavern.
We arrived around 6:45 and found the seating at the bar full. We were about to leave when the hostess walked over and offered to put our name on the list and she would save us two seats. That sounds perfect as we did have one errand to run.
We headed out and down the street to the Pasta Shop to pick up a salami tartufo that we have been salivating over for weeks. A bit of bad news to report when we got to the front door of Market Hall they were locked. The sign showed they closed at 7:00 and I looked down at my watch 7:05! OHHHHHHHHHH! I smashed my face against the door and could see the box of salami taunting me. I am keeping my fingers crossed they don't sell out.
We made our way back to Wood Tavern and as we walked in the hostess came right over and as promised there were two seats at the bar waiting for us. The bartender introduced himself and placed a menu and wine/cocktail list in front of us. We had split a sandwich earlier and were not super hungry and decided to just share a starter. But first things first, cocktail time! My wife was in the mood for a Manhattan and me a bourbon sidecar. We glanced over the small but impressive collection of bourbons. My wife decided on a Whistle Pig Manhattan with a twist, and me a George Dickle sidecar. The fact that Wood Tavern stocks Whistle Pig is pretty cool and showed that the bar buyer knows what they are doing. The bartender here is a true mixologist and I watched as he carefully and with surgical precision made our drinks. Extra bonus points for the high dollar vermouth they use for making my wife's Manhattan.
My wife split the "Fig N Pig" appetizer which I must say was AMAZING. The figs were lightly browned, served with pork, a fancy blue cheese and toasted chestnuts and greens. The combination of flavors were perfect and each bite mouth watering. We did not leave a scrap on the plate and my wife and I fought for the last fig.
We split one last drink, a Basil Hayden Manhattan which again perfectly made. The bartender stirs rather than shakes his drinks, which again shows he cares and knows what he's doing.
The dining room is festive and cozy. The kitchen is clearly visible from the bar and made for great people watching. In some ways the restaurant reminded me of Town Hall in San Francisco, but I prefer the coziness of Wood Tavern. We will definitely be back soon for a full on dinner.
- Wood TavernJul 04, 2012
American brasserie with California cuisine done very very well. Come here to get excellent food, sometimes deconstructed. For example, we had the old prosciutto-and-melon served here as melon chunks on top of a prosciitto foundation with mint and balsamic vinegar. Hard to get a seat here, but it is so worth it.
- Wood TavernMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6Jul 04, 2012
Gayle and I had an early dinner here one Saturday after a fun Berkeley Rep performance. We were very lucky to get a parking spot right in front and to get a "bar" seat in front of the kitchen straight away. It's interesting how robust the bar wait was. Our vantage point in front of the burners was fun and educational. However, I felt a little scrunched (being also next to the service island) and I wasn't completely impressed with the division of space between the bar and table seating. This and the sometimes slow time it took some of the food to come out is the main reason, I rate the Wood Tavern at 4+ stars instead of 5.
The staff was genuinely friendly, helpful, and professional. And there was no hint of attitude that you sometimes get at popular restaurants.
The wine selection (including a very nice dry rose) was excellent, as was the food. For us, that included the cheese plate (try the blue cheese on the pear slices), the brussel sprout salad (a very nice surprise), the halibut, and even the burger and fries (but with beer)!
Next time I would like to plan ahead better and get a table. I felt like a burger at the bar and would probably go for a more comfortable dining experience with maybe the lamb or other tempting Mains at the table.