All photos (1)Commis

Commis

10.010 reviews
$$$$
American, Bar
Ranked #20 in Oakland restaurants
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  • 5.9
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  • 5.8
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3859 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 653-3902
http://www.commisrestaurant.com/
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Man oh man. I've got a new favorite restaurant in the Bay Area. Of all the upscale fine-dining restaurants I've been to, I think Commis ranks as one of the most inventive and ... Read more
imaginative of them all. How James Syhabout comes up with these dishes is way beyond my mental gastronomic capabilities, but what an extreme pleasure it is to experience them. Commis is a very small, quiet, simple, and unassuming restaurant in the middle of Piedmont Ave. in Oakland. There are no outside signs and it has a very minimalist decor. The center stage is the kitchen, as it should be, and the customers are all members of the audience, patiently awaiting a spectacle to appear before us. And what a spectacle it is. ------------------------ The food: Parmesan "Rock" Cookies: A great way to start off the dinner experience. A subtle parmesan-butter flavor in a rock-like cookie, plated among a bed of real rocks. It's a simple idea, but it does a magnificent job of teasing your visual and gustatory senses. Poached Egg with Sweet Onion, Smoked Dates, & Malt Blend: My favorite dish of the night. A perfectly poached egg (I've never had a better poached egg than this in my life) in an addictive sauce that I've never tasted before. This dish is the epitome of taking something simple (like a poached egg) and transforming it into an out-of-this-world dish. Red Kabocha Soup w/ Cider, Nuts, Grains & Sprouts: A good squash soup with the perfect amount of autumn spices. Scrambled Potato w/ Brassicas, Dill Weed & Salt Cod Emulsion: An interesting dish that, although tasty, didn't do much for me. It was very airy -- perhaps a bit too airy -- so I didn't feel completely satisfied. Monkfish w/ Caramelized Tuna Bouillon and Basil: Excellently-cooked monkfish with a delicious flavor. Grass-Fed Beef Loin w/ Sunchokes & Pistachio Butter: Perfectly-grilled steak slices in an addictive and interesting pistachio butter sauce. Loved this dish. Frozen Green Apple w/ Cucumber & Eucalyptus: This pre-dessert was a light, refreshing sorbet that tasted like what I'd imagine a fancy day spa would taste like if it were to be transmogrified into a flavor. A nice teaser for the real dessert. Melon & Raspberry Chiffon w/ Barvarian Creme & White Corn Ice Cream: A delicious end to the night. The watermelon & raspberries were ripe and sweet, the Barvarian Creme was nice and rich, and the white corn ice cream had just enough corn flavor without being too overpowering. Excellent dessert. ------------------------ I loved my experience at Commis, and at $68 for the seven-course meal, it's an absolute steal. I've tried plenty of upscale fine-dining establishments in SF (Gary Danko, Fleur de Lys, etc.) and I've got to say that Commis blows them all out of the water. Chef Syhabout is a culinary genius, and I'll be raving about Commis for years to come.

Member Reviews(10)

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Local from Oakland, California, USA

Oakland's only Michelin star restaurant. Small restaurant with a prix fixe menu. Be sure to tell them about any food allergies, if any, when you are making reservations. There is also a wine pairing available but you can also order wine by the bottle. For what they serve, they are reasonably priced.

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Local from Emeryville, California, USA

I cannot say enough good things about Commis. The food, service, and ambiance exceeded all expectations. It's definitely worth a splurge for a special occasion! The beverage pairings were innovative and so on point, and I loved that the sommelier explained the reasoning behind each choice and what to notice while you imbibe each one.

Just be warned, two tasting menus and one beverage pairing will set you back over $400!

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Local from Oakland

Finally made it to the Michelin starred gem! Had a wonderful experience sitting at the chef's counter. Enjoyed a multi course tasting menu with some fantastic wine pairings. The food is immaculately prepared and presented, the staff are incredibly knowledgeable and eloquent with their descriptions of each dish and glass of wine. It's pricey, but well worth a special occasion or ultimate date night for you foodies.

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San Francisco, California

Man oh man. I've got a new favorite restaurant in the Bay Area.

Of all the upscale fine-dining restaurants I've been to, I think Commis ranks as one of the most inventive and imaginative of them all. How James Syhabout comes up with these dishes is way beyond my mental gastronomic capabilities, but what an extreme pleasure it is to experience them.

Commis is a very small, quiet, simple, and unassuming restaurant in the middle of Piedmont Ave. in Oakland. There are no outside signs and it has a very minimalist decor. The center stage is the kitchen, as it should be, and the customers are all members of the audience, patiently awaiting a spectacle to appear before us. And what a spectacle it is.

------------------------

The food:

Parmesan "Rock" Cookies:
A great way to start off the dinner experience. A subtle parmesan-butter flavor in a rock-like cookie, plated among a bed of real rocks. It's a simple idea, but it does a magnificent job of teasing your visual and gustatory senses.

Poached Egg with Sweet Onion, Smoked Dates, & Malt Blend:
My favorite dish of the night. A perfectly poached egg (I've never had a better poached egg than this in my life) in an addictive sauce that I've never tasted before. This dish is the epitome of taking something simple (like a poached egg) and transforming it into an out-of-this-world dish.

Red Kabocha Soup w/ Cider, Nuts, Grains & Sprouts:
A good squash soup with the perfect amount of autumn spices.

Scrambled Potato w/ Brassicas, Dill Weed & Salt Cod Emulsion:
An interesting dish that, although tasty, didn't do much for me. It was very airy -- perhaps a bit too airy -- so I didn't feel completely satisfied.

Monkfish w/ Caramelized Tuna Bouillon and Basil:
Excellently-cooked monkfish with a delicious flavor.

Grass-Fed Beef Loin w/ Sunchokes & Pistachio Butter:
Perfectly-grilled steak slices in an addictive and interesting pistachio butter sauce. Loved this dish.

Frozen Green Apple w/ Cucumber & Eucalyptus:
This pre-dessert was a light, refreshing sorbet that tasted like what I'd imagine a fancy day spa would taste like if it were to be transmogrified into a flavor. A nice teaser for the real dessert.

Melon & Raspberry Chiffon w/ Barvarian Creme & White Corn Ice Cream:
A delicious end to the night. The watermelon & raspberries were ripe and sweet, the Barvarian Creme was nice and rich, and the white corn ice cream had just enough corn flavor without being too overpowering. Excellent dessert.

------------------------

I loved my experience at Commis, and at $68 for the seven-course meal, it's an absolute steal. I've tried plenty of upscale fine-dining establishments in SF (Gary Danko, Fleur de Lys, etc.) and I've got to say that Commis blows them all out of the water. Chef Syhabout is a culinary genius, and I'll be raving about Commis for years to come.

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Local from Pleasant Hill, California, USA
First to Review

My friend Mary Anne generously gave Gayle and me a $150 gift certificate to Commis for a Wedding present. So after making a reservation through Open Table about a month in advance, we trekked down to the lower end of Piedmont Avenue for a very pleasant and dress up date night. There's no sign on the outside marking this restaurant other than the address numbers. However, I knew exactly where Commis is located after previously walking by it with my son, on a failed trip to the nearby and now closed Collector's Corner.

Dining at Commis is a splurge. Gayle and I opted for the wine pairings in addition to the Three Course+ Prix Fixe. With French Press coffee, the cheese supplement, plus tax and tip, the total (before gift certificate) came to $250 for 2. I'll let Edgar V. count how many inexpensive meals he could have in Houston for that amount.

Yet Commis does have a Michelin Star, while foodies far and wide are waxing poetic and singing songs to its glory. Here's our take:

- An attractive, yet small and simple Dining Room, with comfortable seating front and back, and cool counter seats to directly watch the open kitchen while enjoying your meal.

- Fabulous Service. We found it friendly, attentive, knowledgeable, and without any elite tendancies.

- Superb Presentation (Including a short explanation of what we're being served at every step).

- Creative combinations of ingredients and clever flavour subtleties. And as you watched the folks in the Kitchen concentrate on their craft, their singular focus helped explain why.

- Nice wine pairings to go with our tasty courses. We also appreciated the amuse bouche starter and the blueberry soda intermission.

- Excellent Pacing of the meal that optimized digestion and appreciation of the flavours different courses presented.

That said, Gayle and I are not foodies and I think some of the food subtleties went over our heads. That included very few OMG moments. So although Commis was a very memorable experience, going to more "mainstream" fine dining establishments (e.g. Andina, Rivoli, Va di Vi, etc.) is probably better suited to who we are.

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San Francisco, California, USA

American (New)

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Local from Berkeley, California, USA

Only Michelin starred restaurant in Oakland. Expensive, but well worth it.

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Palo Alto, California
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Local from Oakland, California
Recommended for:FoodiesLuxury Travelers
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Recommended for:Foodies
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Commis

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