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.
When that was done, I got their “Ring my Belle” – bourbon, plum brandy, plus, falernum, and tea.
To start the tasting menu, we were served the “breaking bread platter”
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.
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:
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.
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.
To go with the char, we were served a dish made of grilled summer squash, eggplant, shishito peppers, and romesco sauce. 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.