Decadent Southern food in an grand Uptown location.. Pican, with its rich copper, amber and chocolate hues, nearly 20-foot-high tin ceilings, and 19th Century French doors, is supposed to bring to mind a contemporary version of a grand plantation of the antebellum South. It does, but it also feels like the epicenter of Oakland's booming Uptown district, whose crowd--diverse, well-dressed and generally jubilant--can be found dipping into sweet mint juleps in the honey-lacquered bar and lounge before adjourning to the dining room. Apropos for a Bay Area city where so many have roots beneath the Mason-Dixon line, Chef Dean Dupuis' decadent Southern recipes yoke the flavor of California ingredients in signature entrees like buttermilk-fried chicken, molasses-basted ribs and the Berkshire pork chop topped with pork belly, which are both exceedingly rich and massively portioned, while apps like Charleston she-crab soup, truffle-buttered scallops and a fried-okra Ceasar are pitch-perfect but a bit undersized. Pican's also known for its lengthy portfolio of small-batch bourbons, which can be ordered anywhere in the restaurant but also get their own quarters in the draped-and-chandeliered Bourbon Room. Not quite a foodie haven, or a cocktail aficionados' hangout, Pican is much more than that: an elegant but comfortable meeting place perfectly suited to the citizens of a town whose renaissance is long overdue.
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