I  used the opportunity of being in the East Bay to check out a Top 100 restaurant and headed to Boot & Shoe Service.  It’s owned by Charlie Hallowell, who also runs the equally deserving Pizzaiolo, which is also in Oakland.

The place was packed, with good reason: The food still has a distinctive style and freshness that has distinguished it since it opened in 2009. I’m in love with the pizza, particularly the margherita where the char on the slightly chewy, blistered  crust seems to bring out the sweetness in the tomato sauce, balanced by just the right amount of acid. The almost singular nuances of oregano enhanced, but didn’t overpower, the blend.

The cocktails were spot-on, the chicory Caesar salad tasted just picked and dressed, and the spaghetti with cauliflower, peppers and a profusion of crunchy bread crumbs had a surprising earthiness. I’d had plenty to eat but I couldn’t pass up the fruit and hazelnut trifle, and the apple and sour cherry crostata, that has a similar char as the pizza crust.
So while Longitude lured me over the Bay Bridge, it was Boot & Shoe Service that made the trip worth the effort.

-SFGate

 

Spotted by JenMillerDickey

 

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