No sin in crying wolf

At least, if you mean Bay Wolf, the restaurant on lower Piedmont Avenue in Oakland which has been there for 38 years and still puts out an excellent dinner.

We went tonight with Beth, the Travel Goddess.  She has bailed my sorry butt out of more than one travel planning disaster, and we owe her big time.  If you’re thinking of a major trip, she’s the one to iron out the details.

Off we went to the Bay Wolf.  Occupying a converted Victorian home, the front half of the business is a semi-open terrace area.  I alway love the feeling of being inside and outside simultaneously, and was pleased when we got on of the terrace tables.

Even after 38 years, Bay Wolf tries very hard to keep up with the times. The menu is very modern and innovative—this isn’t the place for Scotch and Prime Rib.

First off, Gail had the Cauliflower soup:

Cauliflower soup with anchovy foam and purple daikon radish

Cauliflower soup with anchovy foam and purple daikon radish

I can’t say I could taste any anchovy in the foam, but the little taste I wheedled out of Gail was scrumptious.

I had the melon salad:

Melon salad with marinated feta and basil

Melon salad with marinated feta and basil

Chunks of watermelon, casaba and some other kind of melon, drizzled with oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with marinated feta and fresh basil.  This was unlike any other salad I’ve ever had, and was as delightful as it was innovative.  The sour bite of the feta balances the sweetness of the melon perfectly, the bright flavor of the fresh basil brings it all together.  Truly a spectacular dish.

Spiedini is Italian for skewer: Gail ordered the lamb spiedini and essentially ended up with shish-ka-bob.  The good news is that it was really good shish-a-bob.  Large chunks of tender lamb cooked medium rare (well, sort of.  More medium than rare, it seemed to me).  Some kind of ultra modern vegetable melangé, even a couple of chickpea fritters (those disappeared in a flash, and there was no chance of me getting a taste)

You don’t need to feel bad for me, I had this:

Duck, glorious duck

Duck, glorious duck

I love duck, and this was a particularly good example.  A leg/thigh placed on top of a sliced breast, so I could enjoy two different types and textures.  Pickled nectarines, for some reason.  Odd, but tasty.  Corn pureé, just to make it perfect.  Beans, just because.  I ate every bit.

Service was smooth and efficient.  My iced tea had not only the proper yellow packages of sweetener, but came with a long=-handled iced tea spoon to stir with. That’s the kind of small touch you can perfect if you survive 38 years in the most treacherous of industries—hospitality.

Bay Wolf manages to have the excellent ambience of a business long established and well-managed at the same time as it offers a modern and up-to-date menu of food excellently prepared and professionally served.  I guess you’d have to say I liked it.

Bay Wolf on Urbanspoon


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