Despite the run of international posts, there are a lot of places opening in Oakland right now.
Biking to work the other day, I pedaled past what looks like a bar opening at (don't quote me on this) 338 14th street. There's a slick-looking black rock wall, and some oblong windows a la Pearl. Still taped up as a of a couple of weekends ago, I'll try to drop by tomorrow.
Franklin Square Wine Bar
Franklin Square opened up at 2212 Broadway avenue. The SF Gate points out that the location is "near 22nd Street" in their first look - this annoyed me for some reason. Is that really more helpful than saying the best way to get there is actually from Franklin street? Plenty of interesting wine to drink but the food was only good. House-cured bresaola with artichoke hearts and greens stood out, a liberty duck breast was mostly gray, cauliflower risotto was creamy but seemed like it hadn't been stirred while cooking. All of which, given the prices, adds up to you could do worse.
I ate at Flora for the first time. It's been almost two years since I wrote that this place was coming. At the time it was supposed to be a tequila bar. Instead it's a deco'd out place, complete with an absinthe fountain on the bar. I ordered a $13.00 Vietnamese-style chicken salad that my lunch guest said looked, "like a side salad." He ordered pasta with meat balls for $19.00. I might have expected to see these prices at dinner. I haven't headed back for dinner because I'm worried that it will cost a lot, be only alright, and now that we have to pay a baby sitter to do this sort of thing.
Closer to home, I'm hearing that Camino will open at 3917 Grand Avenue in the next month or so. I'm friendly enough with the folks involved that I haven't engaged in much rumor mongering about this one. The Chronicle wrote it up nearly a year ago, and the Grand Lake Guardian wrote it up at about the same time.
Vine Wine Bar
Vine Wine Bar opened on lakeshore recently, but I'm going to reserve comment for a bit. I considered the huge bottle of 1996 merlot in the front window to be a bad omen. I've also heard grumblings about the food, but the night we tried to go the place was packed.