Date Night: 08.17.13 @ 5 PM
For over half a century since 1924, the Tribune Tower was the home of the Oakland Tribune newspaper. Its printers ceased to crank out headline news after the building was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
The lobby of the Tribune Tower has been reincarnated as the Tribune Tavern in 2013. Instead of providing world and local news to Oakland, delicious New American comfort food and strong drinks are what comes out of the kitchen of its new resident – the Tribune Tavern.
Before I move on to the food, I guess it is interesting to mention that in 1923 The Tribune Tower gained national attention when magician Harry Houdini escaped from a straightjacket while dangling upside down from the ninth floor of the building. It took him five seconds to escape.
DECOR & AMBIANCE:
I almost passed on Tribune Tavern after reading the mixed reviews on food blogs. Since I find places with history a charming place to dine, I decided to give Tribune Tavern a try. And I am glad I did!
The lobby of this former newsroom was converted into a trendy and open space with leather booths while ensuring that the spirit of its history was not forgotten. We opted to sit on the patio with a view of downtown Oakland and the contemporary bar. And it was a great spot on a lovely warm summer evening in Oakland.
Service was very friendly and attentive.
I had a very lovely glass of Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon ($9) while my guy had 3! glasses of the housemade Tavern Cola ($3 each). It was actually a more delicious version of regular Coke.
Complimentary Bread Basket: We usually skip the bread but a bread basket was offered when the chicken was taking a little bit longer. As soon as we tasted the housemade molasses bread with nuts, we were hooked that our server packed a little box for us to take home!
½ BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN WITH CABBAGE SLAW $19: Portion was big that it looked like a whole chicken. The skin looked crispy while I saw the juices coming out. My guy reported that it was very good!
ARUGULA SALAD WITH PEACHES, PLUMS, NUTS AND CHEDDAR $10: I was expecting a small plate of boring greens but this salad was good-portioned, really tasty and nicely balanced!
MANILA CLAMS IN WHITE WINE $12: I really did not want to eat meat but Tribune Tavern leans more on the carnivorous side, so I chose this. And it was a good choice! The broth was very flavorful without being salty while the clams were fresh. Crostinis were provided for dunking and soaking up the broth.
PEANUT BUTTER TOFFEE ICE CREAM SANDWICH $6: We do not order desserts anymore but we wanted to linger a little bit longer. Our server cut the oatmeal cookies in half for sharing. It was yummy!
CHECK: $83 with tip
A very enjoyable dinner on a beautiful summer evening in Oakland! Values were good given the generous portions and nice ambiance.
*Then we went back home to watch Frankenweenie (weird) and Hugo (Set in Paris. Delightful!)