After working at Chez Panisse for over 20 years, Russell Moore opened this warm and rustic restaurant in the Grand Lake area of Oakland. Inspired by traditional home cooking in France, Italy and Spain most of the dishes served at the restaurant are cooked at the restaurant’s prominent fireplace or wood burning oven. A small, decisive, daily changing menu reflects the seasons, the region and the restaurant’s commitment to small farms. Camino offers a specialized cocktail menu using the same carefully sourced ingredients as the kitchen.
Oakland, CA 94610
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm,
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10:00am - 2:00pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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Camino Ratings and Reviews
Three of us enjoyed our meal there. The first course, grilled oysters, was very good. The butter lettuce salad was minimalist:lettuce with an excellent citrus vinaigrette. Entrees:squid or pork leg with pork sausage, also very good, though the potato that came with the squid was boring and felt unnecessary. Desserts were outstanding, the best part of the meal.Tunisian orange cake with dates and yogurt, gingerbread cake with poached quince and whipped cream, apple tart with ice cream and salted caramel sauce. All super! Negatives: slow service(maybe a function of open fire cooking) and lukewarm coffee at the end. Note that the service was gracious and professional but our dinner lasted 3 hours.
I go up and down with Camino. It's great, it's not, it's good, it's great, it's not. This was an it's not, and I'm not going to go into all the aspects that made this a bad eating out experience.
But suffice it to say our server managed to bungle our order, enough that we ate out of turn. Oh, and the ginger cake had some very suspicious fibers in it (think, brush?) that no one adequately explained. Finally, maybe for reals, I'm not going back again.
Food remains outstanding. Restaurant policy now is no tipping, they pay a living wage. This is a great concept if staff understands that service is still important. Our waitress was there a week and it showed in her either being confused and or inattentive. Had to get bartender to explain wine list. Other wait people looked either very competent and others striking less so. We are annual or semi annual diners there. Let’s see if the can pull the non incentive service idea off. Food was delicious.
Outstanding rustic but sophisticated food and cocktails in a beautiful setting. Service was friendly but slow but meal was worth the wait. Grilled squid was savory and tender and perfectly seasoned, desserts were also excellent. Among my favorite restaurants in Oakland and would easily bring people from all over the world to showcase fantastic California cuisine
Wonderful meal, the hearth oven is incredible and all food was well thought out and well executed. We had really great service even though there was a large corporate party dining at the same time, we would have never known. Our server was very personable and had great sense of humor. Overall I will definitely be back.
Such good interesting and fresh food! Everyone on staff seems to take ownership and seeks to make you feel part of the fam. Love their casualness, but I do think it could be a bit pricey even though they mention they include the tip in the bill - Love it recommend it but would definitely spend more $$ if it was a bit less costly:)
We hadn't enjoyed our first visit to Camino but after hearing many find reviews from friends, we decided to try it again. This time with a party of 10 at one of the large tables, we were pleasantly impressed. The food was excellent the portions big and the ambience was convivial. We would go again.
Superb dining. Not only delicious but also felt as if we were educated on the truth of what food could be. Their methods of preparation are ingenious and yet so obvious. We travel quite a bit and have dined in some high-end establishments and well as humble eateries. We list Camino as one of the best. Can't recommend it enough.
We really wanted to have a good experience here, but after 3 tries, we won't be back. We were seated at the long community table along the far wall and as a party of 4 asked if we could sit at a 4-top. We were told that they were being saved for large parties. Huh? The community table is what works for large parties. We let it go and were basically the very first group sat at the large table, right in the middle. As it filled up, we became the very LAST group to get our food. It was actually ridiculous how long the time was between our salad and the entree....seemed close to 40 mins. We watched the people around us receive the exact duck entree which we were told takes 25 mins to cook. That party next to us were seated after us and ordered way after us. The waiter apologized and even when they said the entrees were coming right up, it was another 10-15 mins. The wait staff also serves from one side and leans over people to reach across to serve and clear. Why can't they also come along the back side so they aren't leaning so far over people? Given that Camino builds the service/tip into the price of food, the customer has no recourse. They should have offered something - a drink, a salad, something. Also - there are some things it seems every restaurant should have - like a glass of chardonnay (and ice cream). That's a staple. But here, you have to order a full bottle. The other drinks that were ordered were nothing really special. The other meals were fine, but not remarkable. I know Camino has a good reputation and seems to be on the "must-eat-here" lists, but reading some of the other reviews, slow service seems to be an on-going issue. They may not care as the restaurant was full when we left.
The food at Camino is superb, in particular some of the vegetarian starters and mains. The space is nice as well.
The service was atrocious, start to finish. We were given a little water and a small dish of pickles when we arrived, then left for 20 minutes before our server returned. No apology or apparent awareness that the wait was a little long. The food took a little longer to come then it needed to, but was good when it showed up.
Then - another long wait for desert menus, and another long wait after that, for a plate of cookies. Yet another wait for a check. Looking around the room, several other diners obviously having the same experience - a lot of people trying to flag down servers. A lot of servers just standing around, which any decent floor manager should know is not a good sign. We were a little short with our waiter when the check finally arrived, and rather than being apologetic he was rude and obviously irritated.
All in all, it took us 2 1/2 hours to have dinner, of which easily half was spent sitting and waiting on our server.
It's interesting to note that Camino is a "no-tip" restaurant - they have built the expense of paying servers into the food prices. That's fine, and I am the first one to agree that food servers should be fairly paid, but in the case of Camino it appears that they've ended up with a bunch of unmotivated waiters.
It's hard to recommend the restaurant, even considering the quality of the food, given how bad the service is. Camino owners - if you're reading this - restaurants are a competitive business, and reading reviews elsewhere it is obvious that we are not the only people who had a bad experience with the service. I'd hire a decent floor manager and train your waiters properly, or prepare to be put out of business by other restaurants that take care of their diners properly.
Camino is hip, cozy and " au courant". Table seating at their"communal tables" can be an interesting idea , but as we were celebrating an anniversary I was happy to be seated at a "table for two". But OH those seats! Possibly the least comfortable I have experienced in a restaurant. Not only are they hard wooden benches, but they are constructed in such a way that makes them even painful . This could be easily remedied with cushions or I would not even bother mentioning it. Camino should consider adding them. When we go to Camino again I will certainly bring my own pillow! The food is very tasty, the wood fired element adds so much to the flavors but the portions are small and a bit precious. The Cod Brandade was a good choice as it was so delicious and also rich and filling. The paella was not quite what we expected but the dessert was perfect. Even on a Monday night, the room was pleasantly full, the server was attentive and able to explain the dishes well and everyone seemed to really be enjoying their meals and the atmosphere.
The waitress that took drink orders was "flat" and not interested in providing service. Not a great way to start a dinner. The portions are small and the salads/starters while they sound interesting didn't live up to their description. For main courses we ordered the Pork and the trout. Both were delicious. There is no tipping so we wondered if that caused the first waitress to be so disinterested.
Food was excellent. Dined here two nights in a row. Paella, leg of lamb, salads, meringue and nougat desserts. All great. The Wine program needs help though. Badly. Had two bottles over two nights that were nowhere near the standards of the food. Plonk. Limited wine list. Staff doesn’t know the wines. This is a very serious deficiency for an otherwise excellent restaurant. Again the food was great. The wine was not. Service just ok.
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