What is a chowhound to do when they are interested not only in enjoying a delicious meal, but making the most of their evening by also sipping on some wine while a local jazz band plays in the background?
Is it too much to ask that a locale not only provide stimulating music, but equally stimulating food? I'm going to be picky and hope that someone out there can direct me specifically to a jazz restaurant.
I've been to Butterfly a number of times and enjoyed some excellent music (although it can be a tad too loud for carrying on a conversation). Their menu, however, consist of dishes that I don't really consider a meal. Although their tuna tartar is great to snack on and their drinks are quite tasty!
I recently went to Eastside West in the Marina and had a relatively good meal. It consisted of tri pepper crushed ahi tuna, seared rare, with beet and radish salad and the duck confit and arugula salad with mission figs, candied pecans, and Point Reyes blue cheese in a Cabernet and bacon vinaigrette. My two complaints about the food were than the few pieces of ahi tuna, while clearly describing the ingredients, were overwhelmed by the pepper and the beets. The duck confit befell a similar fate. The duck pieces were too few and far between - while figs, candied pecans and blue cheese are some of my favorite treats on their own - they caused more confusion than balance on the plate. I didn't realize until I looked at the menu a day later that my vinaigrette had bacon in it. Once again, the music is what made the evening, having been practically seated on the pianist's lap and not bothered in the slightest by the volume. This place is great for hanging out and sipping some wine (based on my ever expanding knowledge, their selection was decent).
My third comparison for jazz and food is Gordon's House of Fine Eats, which regularly has some good jazz bands overlooking the floor dining area. In this case I believe their menu to be diverse yet comforting at the same time. Donuts for desert, yummy! However, my dish was the one out of 5 at our table that sucked, to put in bluntly. I strongly advise not to get the green pea ravioli. This dish was one of the blandest I have ever had presented to me, especially in a nicer setting. Everything else ranged from good to delicious.
So, the point I was trying to make, what do chowhounders think about Jazz at Pearls, Rasselas Jazz Club, LES Joulins Jazz Bistro, Yoshi's in Oakland, or any other jazz restaurant in the bay?
P.S. Thanks to all for organizing the picnic, can't wait!