Abstract Table, a fine dining experience without boundaries or pretension, debuts as a permanent dinner series at The Gastropig in Uptown Oakland on Friday, October 5. Chefs Andrew Greene and Duncan Kwitkor, who collaborated on the menu at Duchess in Rockridge and are veterans of Naked Kitchen’s intimate San Francisco pop-ups, offer a multi-course tasting menu that combines Japanese influences with unexpected global flavors. Abstract Table will be at The Gastropig every Friday and Saturday night, with plans to expand to five nights a week in 2019. Reservations are available through Resy.com.
Greene and Kwitkor met in 2004 at the San Francisco Art Institute, while both were pursuing a fine arts degree in painting. The California natives shared a deep affection for surfing, abstract art, food, and wine, which became the basis of a lifelong friendship and propelled their artistic talents into the kitchen. Abstract Table encompasses Greene and Kwitkor’s philosophy of stepping outside of fine dining norms and making fine dining fun, conceptual and approachable.
“Our goal is to bring an eclectic style to the plate, to experiment with different flavors and combinations, and to remove pretension from fine dining,” said Greene. “We may take our guests a little out of their comfort zones, but we want them to leave satiated and happy to have tried something new and unexpected.”
Abstract Table will present different dining “exhibitions,” much like an art gallery but centered on food. The Abstract Table menu changes every three months to coincide with the seasons and to give Greene and Kwitkor a continually changing outlet for their creativity.
The first exhibition is “Fine Dining on Paper,” where fine dining is presented on metal trays lined with biodegradable sandwich paper. The presentation is colorful, full of unexpected ingredients and unforeseen flavor combinations, and is beautifully executed. The dining ambiance is relaxed and playful, the culinary team will be outfitted in their favorite duds rather than chef’s jackets, and servers will ensure that guests feel welcomed, regardless of where they are on their culinary journey. Diners can choose either a five-course tasting menu for $50, or seven-course menu for $70.
While fish is a centerpiece of the Abstract Table menu, the chefs enjoy experimenting with vegetables, game and uncommon cuts of meat, from beef cheek to ostrich meat. Greene and Kwitkor are also avid foragers and regularly comb the coasts and forests for fresh and wild ingredients for their weekly dinners. Fine Dining on Paper menu items may include Ocean trout with wild arugula nage, pickled grilled cucumber and coconut; Charcoal beet, mushroom, furikake granola and fish caramel; Beef cheek with turnip, tamari onion, edamame puree and sake glaze; andLamb breast with smoked cauliflower, fennel and togarashi honey. The beverage program includes a curated list of beer, wine and locally made sake.
Abstract Table at The Gastropig is located at 2123 Franklin Street in Oakland. Reservations will be posted one month in advance on Resy.com, with seating times offered at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant can accommodate 49 guests per seating. A five-course meal is priced at $50 per person; a seven-course meal is $70 per person (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).