After testing out dinner service earlier this year, Oakland breakfast favorite the Gastropig is introducing a new, permanent dinner series with artistic ambitions and Japanese flavors. Called Abstract Table, it’s the brainchild of chefs and artists Andrew Greene and Duncan Kwitkor, who worked together at Duchess in Oakland as well as Naked Kitchen’s pop-ups.
It’s an unusual concept, particularly for a space best known for its Baconslut breakfast sandwich: Abstract Table will change “exhibitions” every three months, offering a five-course menu for $50 or seven courses for $70. Beginning on Friday, October 5, it will take place on Friday and Saturday nights before hopefully expanding to five nights a week next year.
“The roots of it could best be summed up with our backgrounds: we’re artists and classically trained,” said Greene, who first met Kwitkor at the San Francisco Art Institute when they were painting students. “It made a lot of sense to apply that to our culinary pursuits. We like to change it up so often.”
“We look at everything as a piece of art, whether it’s food or drawing,” Kwitkor added.
Those exhibitions don’t just mean menus will change to reflect seasonal ingredients, though. The style and flavors of the food could dramatically change, as could the manner of presenting it. The first edition, Fine Dining on Paper, will present upscale dishes on metal trays lined with biodegradable sandwich paper in an effort to be playful and more casual. Greene tested it out with three, three-course pop-ups at the Gastropig, and they all sold out. Upcoming courses include bok choy with sea bean, pear, and yuzu kosho; ocean trout with arugula nage and pickled cucumber; and lamb breast with smoked cauliflower and togarashi honey. See the full menu below.
For the next series, the chefs plan to look to Japan and Scandinavia in the winter time as far as flavors and colors. It’ll be called Blizzards. “We’ll definitely go for a more hearty approach and keep it super wintery,” Kwitkor said.
But the prices should be roughly the same going forward — the goal is to keep it relatively accessible for a higher-end experience. “You can eat with us for three exhibits for as much as one time at a really upscale restaurant,” Greene said. “And the food might be similar.”
Seating times are available at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with reservations going live today at noon on Resy.
Abstract Table: Fine Dining on Paper Menu by Janelle Bitker on Scribd
- Oakland’s Gastropig adds permanent dinner series [SF Chronicle]
- The Gastropig Introduces Dinner Service with Asian-Inspired Flavors [EBX]
- #Baconslut Sandwiches Dominate the Menu at The Gastropig, Oakland’s Newest Breakfast Spot [Eater SF]
- Duchess Closes in Rockridge After One-Year Reign [Eater SF]
- Abstract Table [official]