Classic bistro dishes get a bit of a kick by Lake Merritt..
Not quite sure whether it's a bar or a restaurant, this Oakland destination makes a fair argument for both. There's the copper bar that sits squarely in the middle of the space--a highlight both physically and metaphorically, as evidenced by the popularity of the wine list and cocktails crafted by famed mixologist Jonny Raglin of SF's Absinthe. Servers will likely steer you to the bar seating in a pinch, but there are also a number of smaller tables, and one larger picnic-sized one, to choose from. The fare on offer varies depending on the time of day: at lunch, think chopped salad or Monte Cristo, for dinner, baked pasta, steak frites or grilled pork chop. A neighborhood bar/restaurant wouldn't be complete without a burger; this one is already a hit, especially with the available add-ons of bleu cheese and a fried egg, and on it's own makes a fair argument for a visit to Sidebar/restaurant.