Garibaldis Restaurant in Oakland has been around for years. In the past, each time we’d go there, we’d ask ourselves why we don’t go there more often. It’s usually very good. Recently the restaurant made a big change. They remodeled, dividing their space into two restaurants. One part remained Garibaldis and the other space became Marzano, their pizza / small plate concept. On Saturday, we went to Garibaldis for the first time since the remodel. The space is beautiful.
Service was friendly and sincere, but spotty in the results. The overly-busy staff did not seem ready for the task though I suspect a lot of the difficulty had to do with the big party next to us. Wine service for our BYOB Phelps Insignia was good with the server bringing us excellent stemware without being asked.
Most of the food was good to excellent. My dinner companions liked their salads and hamachi crudo appetizers. My son and I loved our steak tartar. A couple of us were not that hungry and the kitchen and server cheerfully and generously split a delicious salmon entree which was grilled to perfection and served with a yummy pomegranate sauce. The disappointing entree was my own: the potato gnocchi were salty and mushy.
Garibaldis has always been loud and this hasn’t changed. The copper ceiling, while beautiful, doesn’t lend itself to sound dampening. The noise level on our visit wasn’t helped by the neighboring table of about 20 twenty-somethings. They were at least tipsy and for some reason, their table could never be full. Two would leave the table just as two more would return. The constant traffic did take away from our experience.
So, with more hits than misses, we’ll again return to Garibaldis someday, but as usual, a few inconsistencies keep it from being at the top of our list.
5356 College Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618