New: The Wolf
by Cat Fennell
The Wolf invokes reincarnation. It’s a brand-new restaurant based on a top-to-bottom renovation that gilds the soul of the longtime previous tenant, Bay Wolf. The comfortable, well-worn spirit here is so tangible, so clearly shared at each table and in each room, that chef Yang Peng’s modern classics are nearly beside the point. Nearly. Glistening, hand-chopped raw beef on a spoon of hollandaise is designed for piling on delicate Acme bread toast points. Heavenly, fall-apart-tender, crispy-skinned cod meets earth with sunchokes and fermented black garlic. And like our heirloom carrot risotto and osso buco (graced with snails), sublime textures and contrasts endow each forkful with intrigue. The wine list is sharp. True, the pastry in our tiny apple pies and molasses tart didn’t quite hit the sweet spot, but perhaps Grandma has yet to cross over.
3853 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, (510) 879-7953, thewolfoakland.com. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily.