Wood Tavern: Rockridge’s Best


More than five years ago, restauranteurs Rebekkah and Rich Wood opened up their first Oakland restaurant, Wood Tavern. They were one of the first restaurant owners to successfully transplant a San Francisco restaurant across the Bay to Oakland. Many restauranteurs have followed suit in the past few years making Oakland a destination place to eat.

If I were to have written lists of the Top 10 restaurants in Oakland each year, Wood Tavern would be on that list every year since it opened in 2007. It is located in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Rockridge. It was one of the first places in which I discovered pork belly on a menu. A friend and I had a recent visit to Wood Tavern for a leisurely lunch.

We ordered a bowl of soup which was sausage and faro. Since we were sharing, they gave us our individual cups. This tomato based soup was hearty with chunks of what I believe was andouille sausage. Parmesan cheese was sprinkled on top making the soup amazingly delicious. I am still thinking about this soup wondering if I can get a copy of this recipe.

A second appetizer we ordered was the crispy pork belly with warm kale salad and a poached egg. The combination was a great match. I only wish the crispy pork belly wasn’t quite as crispy, specifically in the fatty parts.

Our entree was the clam stew which also came with halibut fillets, bacon, potatoes, and leeks. The flavors of the thyme and leeks really came through. After eating the garlic toast that came with it, we had to use up the remaining bread from our basket to soak up the clam broth.

My friend was in the mood for chocolate so for dessert we had the dark chocolate salted caramel brownie with malt ice cream and malted caramel sauce. I was quite full so I really only had a bite. I thought the ice cream was a fun flavor reminding me of good old Hershey Whoppers.

Wood Tavern consistently creates delicious food and I am eager for more opportunities to dine there as well as the Wood’s other restaurant next door, Southie.