haven’s prefix is back!

I last wrote about Haven in Oakland, California about a year ago.  I was lamenting the loss of their prefix menu and, though the quality was still good, it just wasn’t the same.

But I had a chance to go back a few weeks ago and the prefix menu is back!   Hooray!  So, in celebration of some busy and trying times at work and in life, I headed back for a couple of drinks and good meal.

I started off with their “Little Red Dress” cocktail – with compari, gin, strawberry and lavender – in a cute little bottle.

IMG_5496  Delicious and refreshing!

When that was done, I got their “Ring my Belle” – bourbon, plum brandy, plus, falernum, and tea.

IMG_5504  The complexity of flavor comes out so smooth!

To start the tasting menu, we were served the “breaking bread platter”

IMG_5497  From top left going clockwise, there is a hummus, spicy burrata, charred cucumber and pickles, pickled sardines with avocado, chicken liver mousse with plum and chicken crackling paired to toasts.  Everything had great flavor but my favorite was the chicken liver mousse – so creamy and decadent with a nice sweet/tart note to it from the plum.

Next came their salt cod and tarragon hushpuppies with celery yogurt.

IMG_5499  I LOVE the salt cod fritters they eat in Portugal and, when I was there, I couldn’t get enough of them.  This was an interesting twist to those fritters – more hushpuppy than cod, it was still perfectly fried and the celery yogurt was a nice cooling dip.

Then we were served their monterey squid with calabrian pepper tapenade:

IMG_5500  Simple, tender, and delicious.

A salad of gem luttuce, melon, fennel, almond and mint was then served.  This was ok – an interesting way to add salad to the menu but not so impressive overall.

IMG_5501

For our entree, we had the choice between chicken and fish.  We chose fish and got their artic char with corn pudding, haricot vert, sungold tomato, and basil.

IMG_5505  This was perfectly cooked and prepared.  A wide range of flavors and textures but all went together very beautifully.

To go with the char, we were served a dish made of grilled summer squash, eggplant, shishito peppers, and romesco sauce. IMG_5507  This was a pretty hearty side and would have been a great vegetarian option of an entree.  It didn’t quite go with the flavors of the Char and we ended up eating this “side” after we finished our entree.

The last course was a dessert of a peach upside down cake with peach leave ice cream and candied almonds.

IMG_5508  This was fantastic – not as tart as what you would expect from pineapple or apple upside down cakes.  The peach brought a much more subtle flavor to the cake and the ice cream was fantastic.

And after eating all that food, we walked off some calories along the pier of Jack London Square (where Haven is located) to watch the sunset.IMG_5509  What a great evening!

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