Hutch Bar & Kitchen 2022 Telegraph Ave./20th St., Uptown, (510) 419-0622. D Tu-Sat.
|exterior of Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
Situated in an open space holding a zinc-topped bar with two TVs that is a magnet for solo diners, this cheery, friendly place features mellow music and invites lingering over one of the drink specialties.
|interior of Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
You can choose from more than 100 American whiskeys, but perhaps the most fun way to go is with a flight. We chose to share “The other states” flight and sampled a Balcones single malt from Texas, a James Oliver whiskey from Oregon, and a Hudson baby bourbon from New York. Our clear favorite was the Balcones, which we could feel warming us up all the way down.
|flight of whiskeys at Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
The wine and beer list is California-focused, and cocktails are also available. With my dinner I drank an unusual, not-too-sweet Sunny Mai Tai, which was light in color but not in wallop. My dining partner chose a New Two Jacks Sazerac (with St. George absinthe).
|cocktails at Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
The decor includes some reclaimed wood highlights, including a redwood ceiling (from the 1930s), table tops made from 1950s walnut veneer, and a community table made of old growth pine. I was wowed by the two locally crafted, 6-foot-diameter metal chandelier circles wired with filament lights, and also by the huge, dramatic multi-panel photographs depicting the Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis and the original Bay Bridge. For starters, we chose crispy jalapeno hushpuppies served with a tasty remoulade dipping sauce, and the unusual bourbon-cured trout-fennel salad (the algae-fed trout is dry-cured two days, then soaked in bourbon for a day).
|hushpuppies and bourbon-cured trout at Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
I unwrapped my dish-towel napkin and prepared for deep-fried chicken (an entire half that was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside) served with a delicious Sherry-herb gravy over rice and bacon-braised collard greens.
|deep-fried chicken at Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
My dining partner had flavorful crispy-fried catfish with corn succotash. Portions were so generous that we took home leftovers that were enough for dinner the next night.
|fried catfish at Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
More entrees include bacon-wrapped meatloaf with mashed potatoes and a hunter’s gumbo made with trout, wild boar, rabbit, and smoked turkey. Available as a side, the restaurant's signature stone-ground grits from Mississippi are served creamy, thick, and very cheesy, but you can also get them as a bar snack in cheddar-grit croquettes. We did manage to share banana-bourbon bread pudding made with crispy squares of bread and served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, but we simply couldn’t finish it. Affogato is another option.
|banana-bourbon bread pudding at Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
Chef King combines traditional family recipes with Californian ingredients. He is marking the restaurant’s third-year anniversary by offering, through the end of July, 2016, a value-priced, three-course prix fixe dinner menu showcasing some of the restaurant's classic dishes; it includes a complimentary glass of wine.
|bar manager LaMont Reed with owner David King at Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
Hutch is named after chef/owner David King's grandfather, who is honored in a colorful watercolor portrait by the entrance.
|watercolor portrait of Hutch at Hutch Bar & Kitchen in Oakland, California|
More things to do in Oakland.
Way more things to do in Oakland.
More ideas for exploring Northern California.
images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers