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Report on Citron in Oakland

SLRossi | Oct 13, 200406:37 PM

Since no one had any recent experiences to share when I queried a few weeks back thought I'd bother to report a recent experience.

The place is still cozy and has an intimate feel. Our server was stretched at first (on a fairly quiet Sunday night), but then found her groove or whatever and provided adequate service through out. Support staff were excellent and never missed a beat. I was put off when staff tried not to seat a couple at the bar when they didn't have a reservation even though many tables were available and time proved they were not being held. Not sure the purpose of such a move.

Four of us went and all had the tasting menu with the wine pairings. All the pairings were excellent, even if some did not suit my individual taste:

Baby red romaine with bartlett pears and candied pecans served with a Quincy Sav Blanc: It was simple as it sounds. I could've just feasted on the pears and pecans. A good salad, but nothing notable.

Sheep ricotta and green olive fritters over a marinated artichoke and gypsy pepper salad, served with a Corbieres, Boncaillou "Cuvee LeRose":
The fritters alone were nothing wonderful. The salad alone was nothing wonderful. Together, with the aioli provided, they were outstanding.

Smoked pork loin with bourbon and brown sugar spaghetti squash, served with a Chasseur des Brousses, Vin de Pays d'oc: The sweet/smokiness penetrated every bite on the plate. When you were lucky enough to have a bit of salty pork fat in the bite it was near nirvana. A wonderful dish.

Cheese plate: Can't remember the names, but all were delicious to this cheese whore. No wine was paried with this, so I asked the server to pair something for me. A Madeira was chosen, which worked quite well with the cheese, but not to my taste.

Chocolate mousse cake with espresso cream and almond tuile, served with Grahm's "Six Grapes" Reserve Porto: This was quite possibly the best chocolate dessert I've ever had. Rich, truly chocolately, velvety, and just plain wonderful. The only complaint would be that the serving size was HUGE considering how much food had been served previously.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the experience and would recommend a visit. Is it worth a pilgrimage from SF or elswhere where fine establishments exist, probably not. My guess is this is just an East Bayer's destination spot.


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