Oakland Restaurant Week sizzles
The 3rd annual Restaurant Week is heating things up in Oakland kitchens. I went to Hopscotch yesterday, a new-to-me eatery in Uptown Oakland, and my burger topped with a sliver of grilled beef tongue was a sensational start to the week. The three course lunch included a choice of mushroom miso soup or grilled kabocha squash and greens salad, the burger or a spiced fried chicken served with a slaw dappled with tung ho and sesame oil, and for dessert a lemon bar or chocolate mousse with a floral-tasting meringue and black sesame tuille. The inventive takes on classic food elevated lunch hour to a memorable celebration, where I went away feeling rather princess-like.
All across the city there are restaurants offering reasonable lunch and dinner prix fixe menus, an ideal way to explore restaurants you haven’t yet tried, or marinate in the chef’s inspiration at your favorite East Bay foodie outposts. There are 45 restaurants who have joined in, including Amba in Montclair, Tanya Holland’s B-Side BBQ, Flora in the heart of Uptown, The Terrace Room, which has the best view of Lake Merritt of any Oakland eatery, Marzano on Park Boulevard and dozens more. Restaurant week continues through Sunday, January 27th. Contact the restaurants directly to make reservations, and get more details at Visit Oakland.
Oakland has been at the heart of America’s food scene since its earliest days, even the Ohlone tribes that called this area home were known to welcome tribes from elsewhere who were suffering drought conditions. The edible bounty has been supported by a network of producers, growers, and the other industries like packaging and machinery necessary to make this such a center of food. Oakland has a bright and sustainable future, building on the days when this city was the capital of canning to the present day where an interconnected group of passionate chefs, restaurant patrons, and pioneering producers like Peerless Coffee, Linden Street Brewery, and Numi Tea are putting their skills to use while staying dedicated to this special place.
It’ll be hard not to eat out every night this week and toast this soulful city!