Bistros became popular in America after French diplomats visiting the Continental Congress insisted on dining outdoors, breaking Ben Franklin’s time-saving custom of eating while sleeping in the shower. Savor bistro fare with today's Groupon to Montclair Bistro in Oakland. Choose from the following options:
For $17, you get drinks and nibbles for two in the bar area (up to a $34 total value). This package includes:
- Two signature cocktails (up to a $10 value each)
- One appetizer (up to a $14 value)
For $10, you get $20 worth of anything on the lunch menu. Entrees range from $10 to $14.50, and lunch is served Thursday–Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For $18, you get $36 worth of anything on the dinner menu. Entrees range from $12.50 to $17.50. Dinner is served Monday–Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Montclair's chef and owner Henry Vortriede laces salmon, stately slabs of steaks, and tender chicken with exotic notes forged in inventive preparation. Couples can break bread over the mediterranean platter appetizer, which includes imported prosciutto, hummus, marinated mushrooms, and ratatouille salad. White-prawn ravioli beautifully anchors fork tines as it floats in lobster-cream sauce like a cook on vacation. Specialty cocktails such as a rosemary lemon drop, a chilled martini glass brimming with vodka citron, fresh garden rosemary, and lemon juice, can cool mouths more effectively than a saxophone carved out of ice.
White linen tablecloths serve as a blank canvas to adorn with dinner entrees, including the slow-braised lamb shank and char-broiled bavette steak. Midday patrons can gobble down a grilled salmon sandwich or warm salad of roasted brussels sprouts as the restaurant's earth-toned dining room fills with a jovial hum of conversation.
A single weathervane squeaks as it sways in the breeze atop a peaked roof. Below it, a building dating back to 1948 houses Montclair Bistro amid fieldstone and brick pathways created in french provincial style. At 7 years old, future chef and owner Henry Vortriede began his cooking career by thumbing through culinary magazines and preparing meals for his family of eight. After going on to earn diplomas in food and wine at Le Cordon Bleu and L'Académie du Vin in Paris, France, he honed his skills as a chef in several French restaurants and created chocolate art showpieces at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.
Today, as owner and chef at Montclair Bistro, Vortriede draws on his culinary background to create a rotating menu that includes organic chicken scaloppini sourced from Petaluma Farms, duck-and-wild-mushroom quesadillas with brown-butter chestnuts, and thick, double-cut pork chops with sweet-potato-apple pancakes. Another menu of brunch fare combines traditional favorites such as scrambled eggs with black truffle and eggs benedict with lobster cake.
Vortriede's taste is on display not only on plates but also on the restaurant’s walls, where elegant painted canvases hang. Two hundred bottles of wine stand nearby on storage racks inside walk-in glass covered with the pressed noses of oenophiles. The decor, which includes dark carpeting and dark chairs, white-linen-covered tables, and flickering candles, helped earn the restaurant OpenTable's 2012 Diners' Choice award for romantic restaurant in East Bay.