Sunday, March 11, 2012
So back in January, I started thinking I should have a blog 'resolution' of sorts. But I knew that a goal of making every recipe in one cookbook or trying a bunch of recipes for one dish in a quest to find the 'perfect' version of that dish would annoy me. I also know that at times, life just gets too crazy to try one new recipe a week. Not to mention that in the summer, we grill. A lot. I get bored writing about grilling the same in season veggies every week, and I am sure readers roll their eyes when they see grilled zucchini. Again.
Anyway - my resolution, which I failed to blog about, or even to mention to SP until recently, is to try 12 new restaurants and to return to 12 restaurants we really enjoyed in 2012. An average of one new-to-us restaurant a month, and one 'we really liked this place why haven't we gone back in the past year' restaurant a month. So far we're doing a good job of trying new places (Pino's, Spoon, Cure) and getting back to places (Burgatory, Il Pizzaiolo, Silk Elephant). This past Saturday we added another 'new to us' place to our 12 new places in 2012 list: The Porch At Schenley.
Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at The Porch. I didn't spend too much time looking at the wine/beer/mixed drinks menu, but I remember seeing a drink called 'Almost Arnie' which sounded tasty (limoncello, iced tea, mint). I'd like to go back in a warmer month and sit outside and sip an 'Almost Arnie!' The Greystone wines are made for The Porch by the Culinary Institute of America and our server mentioned that a lot of patrons really like the Greystone Cabernet Sauvignon (there's also a Greystone Chardonnay). I saw a large group sharing pitchers of sangria that looked tasty, too - another good option for sipping while outside in the coming warmer months.
I was a bit apprehensive before our trip because I read some reviews mentioning horrible service, but we experienced very good service. The hostess was friendly, moved the chair from the table so the wheelchair had space. Our server was pleasant and chatted with us a bit. She asked if we wanted our 'This & That' before our entrees - I suppose the 'This & That' options are substantial enough that a larger group could order a few, share them while sipping on cocktails, maybe order a pizza to share, and be full without ordering one of the entrees and having a traditional appetizer-soup/salad-entree-dessert kind of meal.
I also saw some complaints about The Porch being over-priced for Oakland/a campus area. I can see some university students feeling that way. I certainly, when I was an undergrad/graduate student, wouldn't frequently dine at a place like The Porch. But there are lots of other nearby options for cheap college eats, and this is a great place for more upscale dining for parents of students, university employees, nearby hospital employees, museum employees, and visitors.