Oakland >Food & Dining > Garibaldi's on College
5356 College Ave, Oakland, CA | Directions 9461837.839366 -122.251199
High prices Noise and Attitude – -We were 2 couples looking to have a great night at this well recommended place. Our reservation was at 7pm. We were told to wait 2mn for the table to be ready.
-After 15 mn we asked for an update. They told us '4mn, another group with a reservation just had to have your table, this is going to take longer than we thought, please wait at the bar and order a bottle'.
-Interestingly, the waitress was prompt in giving us the wine list and asking us what bottle we wanted to order. Instead we asked for a glass of water. The look on her face was clearly expressing something like "i am a wine waitress, not a water waitress. you are going to wait a long time to get that glass buddy". But her words were "sure". Of course she came back and forth to other customers with wine bottles but never one single glass of water, and was avoiding any eye contact with me.
-We waiter another 15mn, and inquired about our table. The answer was "I will take you there right now". The staff then disappeared to the kitchen and did not come back.
-We asked to speak to the manager. A tall man seemed to fit the bill, her our complaints about the very poor treatment we had received, and answered "I am sorry that you think our staff was ever rude to you".
-No need to argue, we voted with our feet and thought that sharing our experience and echoing it with some other comments on this site will hopefully bring back in line this attitudish establishment.
Used to be one of our favorite date spots, however, server at bar never greeted us, nor smiled and looked like she'd rather not be there. Proscuitto with melon consisted of three measly slices of cantaloupe with three even measlier slices of proscuitto hastily rolled up. My flatbread pizza was burnt -- when I told this to the waiter he apologized that my pizza was a "little crispy" when in fact it was blackened. Halibut was not cooked thoroughly and had a very fish taste. When we told the waiter he had another smug response, commenting that it was eaten, when in fact we ate around the raw bits (we didn't want to wait another 45 minutes for another version). Very disappointing experience.
Delicious Food, Quality Ingredients, Fabulous Desserts – Wonderful food, creative tastes - really fresh ingredients. Our server, an middle-aged, robust woman, was not the best. However, we did go in about 9:00 pm. She disappeared at times, but the food made up for it. Highly recommended: the trio of beets salad, the tuna and the scallops. Desserts are wonderful - loved the warm plate of cookies with a vanilla milkshake.
Every time I've been my companions and I have enjoyed it. – This is the only place in which I will drink any kind of coffee, when everyone else is enjoying the desserts I am enjoying my decaf cappuccino. From the other reviews it seems like Garibaldi's has had spotty service/food, however I have enjoyed it each time. Was orginally introduced to the San Francisco restaurant and found that the bartender there was the only one who could make a drink that hails from the era of Dorothy Parker, no other restaurant has been able to make a similar refreshing version since then. The tables are small and close together and the last time I was in I believe the table next to us spent their entire time there listening in to our table rather than enjoying having their own conversation, which was mildly annoying, but I suppose is to be expected occasionally since we tend to keep our voices low people tend to lean towards us to listen in. Didn't realize we were that thrilling to be around;-)
Great Bar! Even Better Food! – Walk into Garibaldis and first thing you see is the full wall bar that is one of the better stocked ones I have seen. Seating was cozy but a bit noisy. If you are looking for a romantic dinning experience go during a week night. The energy in the restaurant is high at times but its a fun feeling and you can really see that people are having a wonderful meal. Our server Megan was incredible! She recommended the Scallops on truffled risotto cakes, which my wife had, were succulently sweet and divine. The "Kobe" style Bavette with bulgur pilaf was perfectly cooked; accompanied by mizuna and a beautiful spring onion Vinaigrette. For Dessert we had the signature Budino and the Berry Shortcake. Both were fantastic.
This was our third trip to Garibaldis; with the former Chef and Twice with the New Chef Scott Sasaki. The new Chef has really made all the difference in our dinning experience. To see the progression in the food has been night and day each and every time we have gone there; It just keeps getting better!!!
This was our third trip to Garibaldis; with the former Chef and Twice with the New Chef Scott Sasaki. The new Chef has really made all the difference in our dinning experiance. To see the progression in the food has been night and day each and every time we have gone there; It just keeps getting better!!!
Bad service – I used to love this place but not any more. One of the bartenders could not get our drinks right. The waitress had an attidute and deliverd very slow service and was unfamiliar with the wine list. The dishes were ok but given the service I would not recommend this. Much better places on College Ave.
We gave it another chance and LOVED IT!!! – Many restaurants go through changes, things change, times change and Garibaldi's has changed and it's great! From start to finish....We walked in, and just as a fancy New York restaurant there were two beautiful hostess' and what looked like a handsome bartender standing at the front, they all smiled and said hello (no one walked a way like at some snobby places). We were seated in the back, and didn't have to wait long for our server. Our salads, the Heirloom Tomato and the Ceaser were perfect and mouth watering and the wine our server choose for us was excatly what we were looking for. Moving on to our main course, we split the filet, it was so delicious we decided to order one more! Unfortunatly there was no room for dessert, but we went back the next night and ordered a budino. Words CAN't Describe!! It was stellar!
Time to move on.... – We used to LOVE this place, but that was before they changed chefs. Our table ordered the prawn aptzr $15 (8pcs) & they tasted like the frozen shrimp cocktail U buy @ the grocery store. I ordered a organic roasted ck & potatoes. It came flavorless & soft except for the salty brine, not crispy like roasting would do swimming in a soy sauce like broth. It was NOT au jus. I HATE having a bad meal so this disappointed me tremendously. None of the food was exceptional for the price $$$. Go elsewhere.
Perhaps it'll be better at lunch – We went there on Valentine's Day, prix fix menu. We were seated in the small back room that has too many tables. Was that employees changing room? Chairs were too close together. They tried to put as many tables as possible. We didnt feel comfortable seating next to a curtain divider between us & kitchen entrance. And this was supposed to be a romantic Valentine's Day dinner? They need to work on setting up the place.
Filet mignon tasted great, but too small for the price!
Disappointing... – A let down. EVERYTHING was priced in the yuppie-friendly range: I ordered a drink w/o looking at a menu ($5 for iced tea?).
Our waiter came to the table 2 separate times to inform us that they ran out of 3 items on their menu. Ok...but there aren't that many items on their menu to start with (AND, who runs out of chicken at 7p.m. on the Monday before Christmas?).
Bright spot: I had a really tasty pork chop, with mashed sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. We all tried each other's entrees and agreed that I had lucked out; the other meals at the table (pizza, fish) were just ok. It was agreed that mine was the best of the bunch.
I see no reason to go back nor would I recommend this place to anyone. There are better places to splurge on.
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