4293 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94620
Okay, so this is cheating a little bit; the restaurant is actually in Oakland. Whatever. It’s worth the write up anyway. The place is small, brightly lit, huge glass windows, filled with blonde wood, an enormous open kitchen, and not that many tables. People on yelp predicted a wait (they don’t take reservations) but we had none (it was about 6:45 when we showed up, on a Tuesday). Within about 20 minutes however, all the tables were full and people were sitting outside waiting in the little patio area.
We started with a sort of mashed-together-and-fried-into-patties appetizer made with sausage (house made), fingerling potatoes, and greens. It was really good–an unexpected mix of flavors, kind of heavy but in a small enough portion to be enjoyable to the last bite. For the main course we had prosciutto, rosemary, and red-onion pizza and chanterelle pasta. The pizza crust was perfect: light and crispy, non-scorched, and so tasty that even I finished my crusts (this is saying a lot). There was no red sauce on the pizza, just some olive oil and garlic sitting on the dough with big slices of prosciutto layed over the top. The mix of flavors was delicious. The pasta was my favorite (Leslie’s was the pizza). It was fresh pasta (also made in house), cooked just right so that it has a lot of body without being gummy, covered in a basil-based cream sauce with sauteed chanterelles. It was almost like the pasta had been tossed in the sauce; the coating was very light. The flavor was subtle but heavenly.
For dessert we had esspresso-soaked pound cake filled with mousse and topped with whipped cream. I wasn’t crazy about the espresso (big suprise) but the mousse knocked it out of the park. It was that perfect balance between chocolatey and sweet, and not too wet so it was almost crumbly. Mmmm. Overall, a great experience, great service, and stellar food. A bit on the pricey side for the size of the entrees ($10-$15), but a definite will-visit-again kind of place.