Citysearch Editorial Review.
Decorated with dark green malachite wallpaper and the portraits of two oversized grouse, Penelope is one of a wave of new bars and restaurants to bring new life to downtown Oakland. Just two blocks from the 12th street BART, this intimate bar offers several wines, about a dozen beers, and a small menu of lunch and tapas-style food. But the highlight is unquestionably the cocktails. Listed on a chalkboard propped up on the bar, they adhere to the local movement of using fresh produce and housemade infusions to create interesting and unusual drinks. Penelope's signature cocktail is a blend of tequila, fresh beets, apples, pear and lime; other favorites include the Guavalajara (vodka, fresh guavas, basil, lime) and the Para Ti (saffron-infused vodka, orange juice, honey and lemon). But be sure to ask for specials -- the bartenders scour local markets for promising ingredients each day, and some of their most creative concoctions don't make it to the menu.