I've hesitated to post about Oaktown because the owner is a good friend, and, in the past, there have been ongoing service "issues". Lou has a pretty solid crew these days and the food is better than ever.
We had dinner Friday night; started with heirloom tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls with pesto and fought over the remaining pesto for our bread. We also had a bowl of wild mushroom broth that was earthy, clean and perfect for the cold night.
I had the porterhouse-cut pork chop that was brined and cooked in the wood burning oven to perfection-crispy on the edges but juicy and tender throughout, served with apple sauce and mashed red potaotes with turnips. (This was the most expensive dish on the menu at $16.50). Everyone else had dishes from the specials menu: duck breast risotto, pork stew and seared sea bass, none of which I tried, but all eliciting "oooohs" of delight. We all were carefully guarding our plates from friendly raids, convinced we each had the best dish on the table.
We ordered 5 of the 6 desserts and shared (the coconut sorbet was deemed too healthy) : Chocolate pot de creme, pear cranberry crisp, creme brule, brownie hot fudge sundae, and due to my chocolate coma, I've forgotten the 5th. Again we argued over "the best" with a 3 way tie between the chocolate pot de creme, the creme brule and the crisp. In the past I've had butterscotch pudding that I swear is the best I've ever had-if it's on the menu, order it.
Dinner for 4 with a bottle of wine, a few beers and tip worked out to about $150. Not bad for a night out and a great, down-home meal.
4999 9th Street
(corner of Washington & 9th, downtown Oakland)
510 763 4999
Dinner Wed-Saturday (but call first to verify)