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Restaurants & Bars 2

Polenta @ Caffe 817 (Oakland)

Melanie Wong | Apr 25, 2004 03:11 PM

My day to contemplate the planet commenced with a leisurely breakfast at a sidewalk table outside Caffe 817. After just one visit, it’s easy to understand why this breakfast and lunch spot is so beloved by East Bay ‘hounds.

The blood orange juice was squeezed to order. When the glass was placed on the counter while the barrista turned to making my cappuccino, I couldn’t resist immediately chugging half of the sangue-colored serving. He smiled at my obvious pleasure and topped off my glass, a very nice gesture.

The cappuccino was even more satisfying. The thick and heavy foam was finished with a studied swirl and the proportions were right for me.

I had the polenta with one egg. Infused with fragrant Italian herbs, the soft polenta was ladled into a small bowl and topped with a poached egg seasoned with a grind of black pepper, a little salt and snipped chives. Finer textured and with less of a buttery signature than my favorite at Willow Wood, this was still plenty creamy on the palate. The poached egg was firmer than I would have liked with less of an oozing core than Café Fanny’s. Yet, in this case, the whole was greater than the sum of the less than perfect parts, and I reveled in the savory goodness of this warming bowl.

Caffe 817
817 Washington St
Oakland
510-271-7965
www.cafe817.com

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