We revisited an old friend last nite -- Bay Wolf in Oakland -- and enjoyed a truly fabulously delicious prix fixe meal for $35. Quite the bargain, since each dish was stellar and the portions, quite generous.
For starters, from the regular menu we ordered a duck flan with marinated red onion slivers, cornichons & pinchline olives and a leaning tower of toasted acme bread. Stellar flavor.
The prix fixe included a salad that included shaved fennel, bacon (lots of it and really yummy), a fried something or other (maybe nasturtium blossom? I don't recall.) The main dish was quail stuffed with duck sausage, plated on a bed of polenta. It was phenomenal. For dessert, almond-golden raisin biscotti w/ Aleatico (my first time enjoying this wine, but not the last.) In addition to the prix fixe dessert, we had mocha pot de crème with crème chantilly -- one of the best I've had. Chocolate souffle cake with berry coulis was also enjoyed, and beautifully presented. Unfortunately, the pear tart with creme fraiche had seen better days... but I can imagine that it was tasty when it came out of the oven much earlier in the day.
Service was uneven. The young 'un was nice, but he consistently got the requests wrong (for example, we wanted the duck flan as a first course, but it arrived along with the salads). But the meal was so enjoyable, it didn't detract from the pleasure. And I suspect he might be a new addition to the crew.
he did steer us in the direction of a pleasant bottle of wine: 2010 Saumur Champigny, Cabernet Franc for $30. I appreciate it when restos offer a decent bottle of wine at an affordable price.
And for those looking for a quiet resto to have a conversation with excellent food: be sure to add this to your list.