District Wine & Whiskey Lounge 827 Washington St./9th St., Old Oakland, (510) 272-9110. D M-Sat; $$$. No reservations. Free parking in lot directly behind. Situated in a wide-open space dominated by a large horseshoe bar made of reclaimed Brazilian barn wood, this spot is comfortable for everyone from solo diners to families. It features a dark interior with gray walls, a custom video wall showing vintage movies, and a rotating display of works by local artists. Guests seat themselves on informal couches or at more defined tables, no one is rushed, and a pleasant mixture of sophisticated music plays in the background. The best way to enjoy this unusual spot, is to order either a whiskey flight or a wine flight and build your meal around that. On my recent visit I tried the Identity Crisis flight, a mixture of grains—corn, rye, barley. I liked the Woodford Bourbon (corn) the best. My husband tried the Ryes to the Occasion—three kinds of rye. We noshed on sweetish house-roasted nuts, devine deviled eggs, exquisite chevre-stuffed red peppadew peppers, and darling little braised oxtail sombreros that resembled the namesake Mexican hat. An organic baby lettuce salad with thin round shavings of fresh beets refreshed our palates and was enhanced by a Bluegrass cocktail made with Buffalo Trace bourbon infused in-house by Caterina Mirabelli with organic rosemary and blueberries (Caterina also made the cocktail for us and guided our food selections.). Finally we enjoyed a glass of Chilean Carmenere from the Spices and Berries flight on the expansive wine list, paired deliciously with some full-flavored Moroccan spiced-lamb meatballs. We finished with a shared bourbon bread pudding and glass of off-the-menu Venezuelan Diplomatico rum. More items to consider are the house-made charcuterie, the large variety of cheeses, and the small pizzas--oh yeah, and the 16 draught beers.
More things to do in Oakland.
Way more things to do in Oakland.
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image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers