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“Excellent meals and cocktails...much more than a "wine lounge"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Toast Wine Lounge

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Toast Wine Lounge
5900 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
510-658-5900
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Ranked #133 of 1,111 Restaurants in Oakland
Price range: $15 - $25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Chabot
Transit: Rockridge BART
Description: Featuring locally & sustainably produced foods, small production wines, artisan cocktails, noshes for adults and kids alike, and gregariously gracious staff, TOAST welcomes all.
Oakland, CA
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
172 helpful votes 172 helpful votes
“Excellent meals and cocktails...much more than a "wine lounge"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

I think Tripadvisor has the full name of Toast wrong. Perhaps at one point it was "Toast Wine Lounge," which indicates its original version as primarily a wine/tapas place. But today it goes by a more accurate name that reflects it being a full-fledged restaurant: "Toast Kitchen + Bar."

In any event...went with my wife and two friends on Saturday night. We were very pleased on all counts. Our fine appetizers included a kale dish and split pea soup. The equally good mains included steelhead salmon and braised pork shoulder.

I'd read a few reviews saying that the mains were on the moderate size. I have a hearty appetite, but found the combination of a small plate appetizer and my main dish (the salmon) quite fine. The piece of fish was in fact pretty modest in size, but it also was pretty delicious and together with its sides and the appetizer meant that I had not desire for dessert. The pork shoulder looked to be a very decent portion.

Even though I'm a former bartender, my own taste in mixed drinks just runs to very well chilled and dry vodka martinis. But I had an excellent and good-sized "tabi" something-or-other, a spiced gin with a couple of other ingredients, served up. Sorry I don't remember the exact mix, but it was a great blend of tart with a bit of sweet. In fact, I liked it so much that I had two of them (which is unusual for me). The other folks in our party were equally pleased with their own cocktails, including one cosmo on the sweet side and one cosmo on the tart side..

Service was also very fine: polite, prompt and informative - at one point the bartender stopped by to answer a question we had about a drink - without being overbearing.

The restaurant comprises a good-sized bar area and the main dining room, of about equal size. Both were quite roomy, in that there were few tables right on top of each other. Many in the main dining room were booths that had lots of space in-between them and neighboring tables. I guess if the place is absolutely full the two-person tables running along one side of the wall might be a bit tight, but no tighter than other good restaurants. But even on a pretty busy Saturday night just a few empty tables meant that folks weren't crowded at all.

The room is on the loud side, but not horribly so. So I'd describe it as comfortable rather than elegant or intimate. But again, lots of room between most tables, which is great.

If in a group of four, I'd request one of the booths running down the middle of the main dining room. If in a couple, ask for the one booth by the window or as a second choice the other two-person table by the window.

On top of all this, Toast has a pretty large outdoor patio that I think would be quite nice for a sunny day lunch or cocktail.

I strongly recommend Toast. We'll be back!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Santa Clara, California
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“We really enjoyed our meal here---we would come back”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

I heard from others in our group that this was good, so we decided to check out. Both of us had the chicken (absolutely wonderful--better than what I have ever made) with a autumn slaw. We also split a salad, and had a wine flight of 3 reds for $15 each. I wish we had room for dessert! The service was excellent. We would come back again.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Top Contributor
192 reviews 192 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“has potentential”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

great outside seating but
the service lacks...
too expensive for small plates
its pretty to hang out for a glass of wine.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caspar, California
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“New Scene in Rockridge”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

By styling itself a wine lounge, this place misses the point. (The website gets its priorities right: "Eat, Drink, Be Merry, Repeat.") Great tapas-style food, friendly and attentive staff, good location, and (maybe) inventive drinks, in that order, impressed us. This place is developing that elusive quality of a "scene" restaurant with loyal local adherents and folks coming from afar because of the buzz ... and it's handling the pressure nicely.
Food choices are varied and reliably fresh and as local as possible. There's a chef in charge, and her influence is present in every dish we tried. Good flavor balancing, inventive combinations ... even things we've never seen before. Good on ya, Rebecca! The fried chick peas were a revelation, and the pork meatballs made us want a second order.
This is a place where you go for the company, and stay for the food -- as much entertainment as fueling station. We lingered over a flight of amari after sharing twice as much dessert as usual.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Hand crafted perfectly made cocktails accompanied by exquisite food!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

A great night out in Oakland! On a nice night eat outside enjoy a glass of wine and people watch. Great food,great people! Enjoy!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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