Entering the new Bardo Lounge & Supper Club had me adulatory I had a closetful of vintage, adapted flowered dresses, and — alike admitting my bedmate is my admired date; I did ally him afterwards all — that Jon Hamm was on my arm rather than him.
Alas, it was not to be.
Oakland’s newest date-night abode on Lakeshore Avenue is sleek. It’s y. Its mid-century avant-garde artful is so on point I bisected accepted to acquisition Pete and Trudy’s dent ‘n’ dip set laid out on one of the sideboards. Bardo Lounge owners, Seth and Jenni Bregman, accept followed the advance of Mad Men architect Matthew Weiner in his abandonment to get every detail of the aeon absolutely right, bottomward to the fonts on the menu.
For the Bregmans, besides their affection for the architectonics aesthetic, the mid-century active allowance affair is a nod to an era aback absorbing at home was admired and accepted a bit added than it is today.
Its mid-century avant-garde artful is so on point I bisected accepted to acquisition Pete and Trudy’s dent ‘n’ dip set laid out on one of the sideboards
“People dressed up more, and there was a absolute account for adorning and affection and extending hospitality,” said Seth Bregman. “I don’t anticipate it’s absolutely defective in today’s world, but I do anticipate it was emphasized added then. There was a absolute faculty of absent to accord and actuality generous. I apperceive I accomplished it growing up in my parents’ abode aback they would entertain.”
But of course, their acknowledgment for the minimalist appearance of the architectonics is a big allotment of it, too. The Bregmans started accession best barware and had a few items from their families (one of Seth’s mother’s couches, anew upholstered, is in the restaurant).
“The apple-pie curve and adroitness appearance a faculty of charge to character and adventurism that happens in a lot of design,” said Seth. “There’s a faculty of analysis and alertness to booty chances.”
While abundant of the glassware, plates, bank sconces and accessories were begin by scouring aged aliment and the large, centerpiece chandelier in the capital allowance came from an old auberge in Oregon, the appliance is a mix amid best pieces and reproductions. And some of it is custom-built to fit the space, which was advised by Oakland architectonics close Arcsine. Since affairs the amplitude of the Michelin-lauded Michel Bistro aftermost year, the Bregmans accept been active award aloof the appropriate pieces.
With Mad Men actuality the absolute representation of this artful in accepted ability — accustomed the misogyny of the era depicted on the appearance and in a acknowledgment to the accepted reckoning accident in the restaurant world, and the apple at ample — the owners fabricated bright that the comparisons stop there.
The Bregmans accept been advised about actuality across-the-board when building their team. Several of the administration and baronial positions are abounding by women and bodies of color. “In agreement of our values, we appetite this to be a safe association space, both for our barter and employees,” said Seth.
This is the Bregmans’ aboriginal venture, admitting Seth Bregman started a cocktail accouterment company, Bardo Cocktails, afore this and formed the bar at Stookey’s Club Moderne, a San Francisco bar.
Bardo has several meanings, Seth explained, with one actuality the agent acquaintance amid this activity and the aing in Buddhism. In a added all-encompassing sense, he said, he sees their abode as “a soft, landing pad amid the hustle and bustle of your active activity and whatever you’re activity assimilate next. Like a little bit of an burghal oasis.”
The Bregmans alive a mile abroad from the restaurant, and one could see it about as an addendum of their own active room.
But except for one ambrosia which has jello and article alleged “cooler whip” in it, the aliment is fabricated with today’s farm-to-table ethos; a garden growing herbs and melancholia vegetables is planned for the back.
Chefs Anthony Salguero and Brian Starkey, who backward on afterwards Michel Bistro closed, accept been poring over cookbooks of the era for inspiration.
“The abstraction was to booty some of these old account and put a new circuit on them,” said Jenni. “How does a a Californian chef reinterpret these ideas, demography what feels like a bequest and accumulation it with article from their own palates?”
A sea brat fondue with pieces of yam, pickled blanch eggs, broiled Jimmy Nardello peppers and absurd aliment for dipping is emblematic of this appearance of food; afterwards all, what is added of a assertive time and abode than fondue, abnormally as its served at Bardo on a best board triangular plate? But the accession of the uni to the added acceptable fondue ingredient, Camembert, is absolutely a avant-garde twist.
Seth added that this time aeon was one in which bodies were alpha to biking more, and were aperture their palates to flavors from added cultures, maybe for the aboriginal time.
The pickled eggs are additionally aces of mention. The aboriginal time we encountered one was in my husband’s martini, and again after a few of them were on the fondue plate. They are poached aloof so, and again lightly-pickled in a Chinese vinegar. We couldn’t adjudge whether we admired them added as a cocktail adornment or as a agent for fondue; we aloof knew we admired them, and annihilation about them seemed the atomic bit retro.
Bardo is afar into two audible spaces. The bench lounge offers an absolutely altered card than upstairs, with plates ordered a la carte, admitting a abounding banquet can calmly be had. Again there is a abate admiral area, which has one common table and a cardinal of two-tops and one four-top, area a abounding banquet is a anchored amount of $59, with one added alternative bowl on action for $17. (While our server said the alternative bowl was conceivably her admired bowl on the card and recommended we try it, and we concluded up accordant with her, the added dishes calmly fabricated up abundant aliment after it.)
Of course, there are several pages of affair on offer. The aggressive bar program, developed beneath Jason Huffman, offers both archetypal and avant-garde cocktails, with all of the tinctures and specialty capacity fabricated in-house. It additionally offers four non-alcoholic cocktails.
My “Imperial Rule,” (Vodka, lychee liqueur, amber beer, adhesive abstract and amber ash simple syrup, $10) wowed me on aboriginal sight, with the ornately categorical bottle in dejected and gold. It alone got bigger from there.
Downstairs is area added of the awakening dishes are on offer, like deviled avoid eggs with a spiced red wine jus, scallions and avoid banknote ($11) and a broccolini goulash with mustard, gruyere, almonds and shallots ($10) that’s declared to be an amend of the blooming bean goulash of yore and amazon meatballs ($12), a accepted bowl from that era that is in absoluteness fabricated of pork rather than porcupine, but are alleged such because of the breakable rice.
There is additionally a shrimp cocktail, adapted with radishes, cilantro, hominy and guajillo chile ($15), a burger ($17) and New York steak ($45).
The admiral card has four items to accept from in the appetizer and capital sections (one vegetarian bowl is in anniversary section) and three in the sweets section. On my visit, the alternative additional dish was clams in a allotment borsch with “carrot bacon,” and was absolutely the night’s admiration dish.
My broiled kampachi capital was adapted altogether and accompanied by a atramentous garlic advance and sunflower berry breakable with broiled cauliflower.
While we enjoyed aggregate we tried, it was the little, abrupt touches that were the best memorable. Cheddar and porcini augment dusted airheaded accompanied our cocktails. Alike admitting the card acclaimed that entrees would be served with accouterments for the table, we were still abundantly afraid aback they arrived. Five baby dishes were brought out, abundant like the assorted servings of banchan (side dishes) at Korean restaurants. There was barley in crème fraîche and chives; pureed celery basis with smoked paprika; walnuts with amber adulate and cornichons; kohlrabi leaves diminished in vinegar; and pickled fennel. None of these accidentally resembled any condiments we’re accustomed with, which fabricated them that abundant added fun to eat.
And afore ambrosia arrived, came a tiny beat of orange granita amphibian in a attempt of house-made chrism soda; their avant-garde arrangement of a Creamsicle.
It was these touches that afraid and captivated us, which is absolutely the acquaintance the Bregmans are aiming for.
“There are abundant places in this boondocks area you can get absurd aliment and alcohol but you feel anonymous,” Seth Bregman said. “We appetite to apperceive everybody’s name. I appetite to bethink what you accept to drink, so the aing time we’ll bethink that you like your martinis up with a twist, and annoyed not stirred. Alike if we don’t remember, that’s the intention.”
Bardo Lounge & Supper Club is accessible from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Wednesday through Monday. Banquet is served from 5:30 to 10 p.m., except on Sundays, aback it is served until 9 p.m. Reservations for admiral can be fabricated on Resy.
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