Recent Reviews

Leigh Costain (Carnivoress), EatOakland, July 2013

Baywolf table, EatOakland

“Bay Wolf has not lost its mojo. It is still very, very good. True to its roots, using fresh ingredients simply prepared, I cannot remember having a single item that has missed the mark. The service is impeccable.

“The exploding restaurant scene in Oakland today definitely stands on the shoulders of this giant. But you should not go to Bay Wolf because it’s historically important, you should go because it is damn good. Even among the new stars, I’d be hard pressed to name a restaurant where everything on the menu is as consistently good as what Bay Wolf turns out, and the service as consistently on point.”

Narsai David: Baywolf "Just Keeps Getting Better"

Narsai David

Bay Area bon vivant and culinary fixture Narsai David paid a visit to Baywolf in March, and filed an effulgent report for his weekly Food News segment on KCBS radio.

“The grilled asparagus appetizer with a sunny-side up egg and a leek vinaigrette was one of the prettiest presentations; and yes, Springtime asparagus is really, truly here.... Potato gnocchi with favas, green garlic— I tell you, I cannot remember a better gnocchi dish; it just melted in your mouth....”

Listen to Narsai’s Radio Review

Baywolf featured on KQED’s “Check Please”

Zagat San Francisco Bay Area Guide to Restaurants, 2013

Michael Wild’s “spectacular” “thirty-plus-year-old Oakland dining institution” can still “be counted on every time” for “superb” seasonal Cal-Med “slow meals” (“the duck is a must”), paired with “interesting wines” that “won’t break the bank;” ... the “aim to please staff” and “lovely” “converted home” setting with “enclosed front porch” “keep it in the game” “for business or special occasions.”

Michelin Guide 2013

Bay Wolf has been a Bay Area icon since the mid 1970’s. As the restaurant approaches its 40th birthday, the kitchen is still successfully preparing food the way it always has—excellent ingredients are treated with simplicity and care. True to the local philosophy, this oft-changing menu spotlights seasonal and local ingredients.

Set in a converted house with a small bar and dining rooms on either side, patrons can be seen nibbling on fried ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, before proceeding to pork loin roulade with toasted pistachios spiraling through it, deiciously paired with wild rice pilaf. But, the real scene is on the front porch where local[s]... spend hours lingering over buttery apricot upside down cake.

Patricia Unterman, San Francisco Examiner

I actually don’t think Bay Wolf has changed that much over the years, but the restaurant has achieved a sureness, an appealing self-confidence, a patina of graciousness, that makes the customer feel great the minute they walk in.

The original owners, Michael Wild and Larry Goldman, keep working on the physical space, making the odd-shaped dining rooms in a converted Victorian house more accommodating and pleasing.

They’ve enclosed the redwood front porch and installed electric patio heaters to create a spacious new dining area, cozy even in cold weather. Their longtime staff, both in the front of the house and in the kitchen, work along with them to continuously improve the restaurant. You get the feeling that the line between owners and employees has blurred, that the restaurant has become a family, a dedicated community, proud of its home.

Diners get all the advantages of the local bistro along with the professionalism and broader range of a larger operation. Bay Wolf has evolved into this divine state like a great wine that has aged to maturity. There are no more rough edges, just depth, complexity and sensual completeness.

Patrick J. Comiskey, “Sommelier Selections” San Francisco Chronicle

The menu at Bay Wolf has always been simple, accesible, thoughful and fresh, full of cozy Mediterranean flavors. Homey sides like pepperonatas, succotashes and gratins adorn the entrees created by chef Louis LeGassic. The menu’s forte has always been duck, from creamy duck liver flan and rich confits to succulent Liberty Ranch breasts, accented by savory sauces.

This allegiance to duck offers a convenient middle point in the menu’s range of flavors, and Wild’s small, frequently changing wine list serves this area well, with a nice selection of high-acid whites and medium-bodied reds.

Many of his (Michael Wild, owner) [wines] come from the Loire Valley in France and from northern Italy, both areas that produce wines with a lot of high-acid nerve. And his reds place special emphasis on acid over tannin, like Pinot Noirs, Dolcettos, Barberas and Rhone Valley reds.

At Bay Wolf you’ll also find a selection of proprietary wines — a Bay Wolf Chardonnay and “Noir” red blend. At some establishments you should approach these sorts of offerings with caution; it’s often a restaurant’s way of making profits on a bulk product. But the Bay Wolf wines are made by Wild’s friend Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat in the Santa Maria Valley, part of the Santa Barbara County wine region. Clendenen is a larger-than-life winemaker with a fair amount of lifeness in his own right.

3853 Piedmont Ave., Oakland CA 94611, 510-655-6004
Serving dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30