4001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611 | 510.547.1446 | website
Last month, I went to a Chicken and Beer pop-up dinner at Clove and Hoof in Oakland, which was offering a 5-course beak to tail meal along with Fieldwork beers for $50. The kitchen is known for breaking down the whole animal and making use of all the parts, as they believe that is part of our responsibility as humans eating meat. The place was decked out with holiday cheer and I loved their christmas tree because it’s alive and the ornaments were so cute: pickles, Heinz ketchup and mustard bottles, plush cheese burgers, carrots, farm animals and more (psst that’s chef/owner John Blevins in the background).
A representative from Fieldwork beers was on site pouring refreshing beverages to get the party started!
I met my friends Brenda who writes the effervescent Bites & Bourbon blog and Christina of East Bay Dish as they are the ones who initially told me how good this place is. We found a well-lit table where we were served a refreshing beer to quaff, and while we caught up, we thoroughly enjoyed a delectable chicken liver mousse toast topped with gorgeously crisp leaves of little gems, tossed with a flavorful Garam Caesar dressing, thin slices of radish and fresh herbs, and wonderfully pungent marinated boquerones (sardines).
The next dish arrived, a large bowl filled with pumpkin farrotto (a risotto made with farro), topped with XO marinated chicken hearts that had a lovely smoky flavor, thin slices of crunchy fennel, juicy bits of Oro Blanco grapefruit, puntarella (a type of chicory) and a generous dusting of shaved cheese that dissolved on my tongue in the most delicious manner. It was enough to be an entree and I think we all felt bad leaving so much on our plates but who wants to fill up on salad? We needed to save room for the main event!
Then came the crispy crab glazed chicken wings! The skin was fried to a delicious crisp and coated with a wonderful glaze and sprinkled with a scallion and peanut nori crumble. Each bite of the meat was tender and juicy, although we were disappointed that the wonderful flavors were concentrated mostly on the outside.
My favorite dish was the Ramen fried chicken, Thai bird chile, autumn kimchi, rice cakes and tare. I was so intrigued by the description of this dish, which Chef told us was “breaded” with crushed ramen noodles. I loved each bite, the crust had an excellent crunch when you bit in and the flesh was juicy and flavorful as it had been brined with both kimchi and pickle juice. It was served over braised bok choy and rice cakes, which are made from glutinous rice that has been pounded, then formed into cylinders that are then cut into thin 1/4″ slices. The rice cake soaks up the the flavors of the sauce becoming soft and pliant but can really expand in your stomach, so beware! So many of my favorite textures and flavors in one dish, I told them that this should get put on the menu, or at least on some sort of rotation…
And then came dessert, a scoop of Mascarpone ice cream that was coated with a stunning mixture of crushed fried chicken skin and corn flakes then fried, drizzled with butterscotch and rye, pralines and black sesame. The vibe in the dining room was electric as we dug into the dish and ripples of enjoyment could be heard through the room. Everyone cleaned their plates and we all felt stuffed beyond reason.
Along one side of the dining room, there is a long display filled with meaty delectables that you can purchase to take home, and they also take special orders. If you follow them on Facebook or Instagram you will be the first to know of any especially fabulous things that they are creating in the shop. More importantly, then you will know when they are having special dinners like this, or the southern brunch for dinner I enjoyed here.
OPEN DAILY 11AM-9:30PM
TUESDAYS OPEN UNTIL 3PM
And as a treat, I leave you with wonderful sausage fetish photos in the women’s loo…