When I was talking about San Francisco classics making their way to this side of the bay, District wine bar was another clear example that came to mind.
A cozy, South of Market wine bar serving up wine flights and small bites near the AT&T ballpark in the city, District duplicated itself last year when it moved into Old Oakland, in the former Levende spot (which was also an East Bay outpost of a San Francisco lounge).
I finally checked out the Oakland version of District last week when I met up with my friend Shawn, who coincidentally ate at original San Francisco location the night before with some other friends. Shawn said the Oakland spot carried on many of the same aesthetics of the original location – red brick walls, large center U-shaped bar, lounge chairs along the side.
In fact, Shawn said the menus looked exactly the same as the San Francisco location, offering up the same extensive wine list and mix of food bites. I guess if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?
The wine list provides a nice option of ordering by the glass, bottle, or flights. The flights are easy to create because District’s wine masters have created interesting groupings, such as the “exotic whites” flight I tried ($16) that included three glasses of white wine, one each from Spain, Tuscany, and Argentina.
The food menu provides a lot of nice options to chew on while sipping your wine, including a nice assortment of charcuterie and cheese. Shawn and I got some $1 happy hour oysters (that day’s specials came from Washington state), and we also ordered the ahi tuna tartare ($18) and seared sea scallops ($17). We really loved the tuna, especially the large chips that came with it, but the scallops, while tasty, looked small on the plate disconnected from a layer of cauliflower puree and a side beet salad.
The Last Bite
District has cloned its successful wine bar to old Oakland. While not all the dishes are amazing, the wine options and friendly service provides an upbeat spot for the after-work crowd on this side of the bay.
District, 827 Washington St. (at 9th), Oakland. PH: 510.272.9110. Open Mon.–Fri., 4 p.m. to close; Sat., 5 p.m. to close; and weekend brunch, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Major credit cards accepted. No reservations. districtoak.com
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