While the mythical and much-hyped liqueur after which this establishment is named is not served here, many equally potent concoctions are. Specialty drinks, such as the Perfect Pear and the Ginger Rogers, seem to contain pure alcohol, and even a standard margarita packs an unbelievable wallop. If you're looking for something to help mitigate the effects of a strong drink, then ditch the regular bar peanuts for Absinthe's bar snacks. This bar offers bread with a smooth fig spread, croque monsieur and more. The menu changes daily, but any antipasto platter of cured meats is sure to please, as will the particularly rich duck confit. You can enjoy your meal in the main room or at a cafe-style table on the sidewalk, but if you're looking for a quieter spot, book a table in the private dining room.
Located in the heart of the chic Rockridge area, Wood Tavern is arguably one of Oakland's favorite restaurants. Saying that they have pretty good dishes is a vast understatement. The menu changes frequently but might include dishes like seared duck breast, steaks and freshly made pastas. While the restaurant tends to crowd up, especially during peak hours, an airy breeze (when weather permits) and a friendly staff help to cultivate a casual atmosphere. Equipped with a full cocktail menu and over 70 wines, you can even stop in just for an after-work drink and leave satisfied.
Yoshi's is not just a place where you can catch mind-blowing jazz, but also a sushi bar with an excellent food. Eager music lovers pack the restaurant and the Jazz House on performance nights. It showcases the best talent and boasts of high tech acoustics in the Bay area. A full cocktail menu is available with items like sushi, appetizers, salads and desserts. The attire is causal and the atmosphere jazzed up. It has a top-notch restaurant that serves Japanese food, and is open for lunch and dinner.
A world renowned name in the culinary industry, Chez Panisse is known for their innovations in tastes and flavors.Started by Alice Walkers in 1971, it was named after the movie character Honore Panisse. Prepared with fresh, local produce, the restaurant is a spectacular specimen of fine dining. The menu changes daily and is curated keeping the seasonality of ingredients. Through the week, delicacies like Striped bass carpaccio with cardoons and Titone olio nuovo and Huckleberry and Meyer lemon ice creams meringata are served, to name a few. The wine list is extensive, featuring dozens of wines from across the world. With contributions like California style pizza to the ever changing culinary world, the Chez Panisse is no less than a legend.
Rustic and romantic, Freehouse is a haunt for the beer lover in you. The interior of this beer garden is made to look like a cozy living room; it is furnished with intimate seating spaces and the fireplace keeps patrons warm on colder evenings. Yellow lights and timber-clad walls give this place an old-school look. The outdoor seating in the spacious courtyard lets larger groups dine under the bright California sun. At Freehouse, the menu is ever changing but classics like Beer Poached Mussels, the house salad and Chicken Pot Pie never go out of style. Limited but potent cocktails are on offer along with beers sourced from eminent breweries.
Intimate and exclusive, Keiko à Nob Hill offers a truly world class dining experience to the true connoisseur of fine food. The restaurant features sophisticated decor and the perfect setting for a romantic meal. This sophistication and focus on every sense through taste, texture and flavor is perfectly reflected in the meticulous preparation of each dish. The concept is a unique one, with one seating per night with a fixed price 13-15 course tasting menu that can be paired with wine or for the more discerning palate, the Magnifique Wine pairing with the chef's hand picked vintage selection. Japanese flavors combine with classic French technique to create a unique fusion of the two with dishes like Hokkaido’ Uni Capellini with Caviar, A5 Wagyu with Yuzu-Soy Foam, Honwasabi and Bluefin Tuna ‘Toro’. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited.
With over 30 years of combined high-end restaurant experience in San Francisco and New York, wine director, Maz Naba and chefs, Sarah and Evan Rich, have created the newest buzz-worthy restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rich Table is located in the chic neighborhood of Hayes Valley and offers fine dining cuisine in a casual setting. The menu at this charming eatery changes daily, with a focus on balancing rich and exciting flavors in carefully conceived dishes that are simple in presentation. Reservations are advised as this up and coming restaurant is a foodies must visit.
A brainchild of chef Kim Alter, Nightbird is a celebrated culinary spot of the city. Delighting gourmands since 2016, this place is a personification of class and sophistication. Decked in wooden undertones, the interior is rustic yet chic with yellow lights casting a warm glow over the surroundings. The ambiance sets a perfect mood for their five-course menu which features creatively done dishes that are plated with utmost thoughtfulness and taste just as good as they look. Well-crafted cocktails take your dining bliss to a yet another high thus ensuring that discerning patrons look forward to their regularly changing menu.
Located inside the Inn at the Opera, Pläj Scandinavian Restaurant & Bar touts itself as the only restaurant of its kind in the city. The cuisine is a fusion of Californian and Scandinavian fare created by renowned chef and owner, Roberth Sundell. The atmosphere is sophisticated and trendy with plush lounge seating, industrial style lighting, dark wood paneling and crisp white table linens. Notable menu items include their braised ox cheek, poached lobster and cured salmon. Be sure to make reservation as this establishment is quite popular.
Birdsong on Mission Street is where age-old cooking methods meet contemporary culinary concepts. The brainchild of Chef Christopher Bliedorn, the restaurant menu features meals that wonderfully synergize local ingredients and distinct flavors. In the past, the tasting menu has included such specialties as the Creek Raise Trout, Sonoma Grilled Lamb, and the Guinea Hen Yakitori. If you wish to treat yourself to a wholesome feast, opt for the comprehensive 5-course meal instead. The restaurant's modern-rustic interiors are one of its main talking points and are designed keeping in mind the principles of renowned botanist Michael Frame.
The quirky little bistro serves nouvelle American cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. Small and closely-placed tables make the dining room crowded but cozy. Appetizers are a sampling from the best of the San Francisco Bay. Crab cakes and Basque-style steamed mussels are a few of the many delectable choices. Dinner offers a choice of fresh fish custom cooked to order. A selection of wines, both Californian and French, are sold by the glass and the bottle and no corkage fees are charged on Wednesdays. Be sure to try their three course prix fixe menu served daily.