5478 College Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618
À Côté is an effortlessly chic restaurant located in the trendy Rockridge district of Oakland. The kitchen is led by executive chef Matthew Colgan who, with his team, has assembled a menu of small plates that focus on the best of seasonal Mediterranean cuisine. Diners can enjoy family-style dishes like sardine crostini with white bean artichoke puree and lipstick pimentos and Moroccan lamb and beef sausages with roasted eggplant-chickpea puree, baby carrots and sumac yogurt. À Côté also features a vast collection of wine selected by manager and wine director Jeff Berlin to complement the rustic and bold flavors in the food.
3407 Lakeshore Ave.
Oakland, CA 94610
To the locals, Mezzé is a neighborhood gem that offers not only good food, but also a warm environment. Its seasonal menu features creative pan-Mediterranean dishes inspired by countries like France, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Greece and Egypt. As a result, diners can choose from a variety of dishes like pizza to Greek chicken kebobs to Moroccan lamb shank tagine. Every night, Mezzé also offers at least one three-course prix-fixe menu which includes a choice of soup or salad, entrée and dessert. Diners can bring their own wine and enjoy corkage-free nights Monday through Wednesday.
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Oasis Grille & Wine Lounge
780 Main St. #101
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Downtown Pleasanton is home to Oasis Grille & Wine Lounge, an elegant restaurant that boasts a menu of diverse dishes under the umbrella of what it calls “Mediterranean with a modern flair.” Inspired by countries like Morocco, Greece, Italy and Afghanistan, Oasis has crafted a menu of savory flatbreads, fresh salads and grilled shish kabobs. The pumpkin borani with spicy peppers and garlic all topped with garlic-yogurt sauce consistently receives high marks from diners. For the main course, try one of the house specialties like the mantoo — beef and onion dumplings with garlic-yogurt, mixed vegetables in tomato sauce. Oasis has also created an inviting environment where diners can enjoy the savory flavors of the Mediterranean outdoors in the rose garden or enjoy the contemporary vibe of the wine lounge or main dining room.
The Peasant & The Pear
267 Hartz Ave.
Danville, CA 94526
The Peasant & The Pear, located behind the Danville Clock Tower in downtown Danville, is creating cuisine that marries the freshness of California ingredients with the bold flavors of Mediterranean food. The menu changes regularly and at the core of chef and owner Rodney Worth’s Mediterranean soul food are seasonal, local ingredients. The rustic and down-to-earth menu features dishes like paella with chicken, chorizo, peppers, onions, garlic and peas and bistro steak and frites. The Mediterranean-inspired décor is comprised of a Tuscan-style dining room, an outside private courtyard and antique Parisian bar that complete the dining experience.
3900 San Pablo Ave.
Emeryville, CA 94608
Wally’s Café is a tiny hole in the wall in Emeryville that has amassed quite a following. Despite its off-the-beaten-path location, devoted diners pour into the café for the ethnic Lebanese Mediterranean food. Every meal starts with bowl of lentil soup made with shredded carrots, spinach and a hint of garlic. From there, diners can choose from a variety of Lebanese and Greek dishes from gyros to shawarma to falafel. Try the freshly made hummus served with warm pita or the delicate flavors of the pomegranate chicken served with rice and creamy, garlic sauce. Each meal is rounded out with a complimentary piece of the restaurant’s baklava.
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Jenna Broughton can frequently be found exploring the streets of San Francisco looking for her next adventure and gastronomic delight. She has traveled far and wide, from Paris to Savannah, GA, to satisfy her adventurous palate. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.