Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Levende East

Alot of good motion happening for us yesterday so we decided to celebrate. Got some checks for work we had done! yeah! The hubby left 24hr and joined Club One. Yeah!

[The hubby had not been to 24hr in over a year, mostly because he found the place not very well kept. We took a visit of Club One on Sunday and really enjoyed the tour of the facilities. Really kept up, lots of amenities, classes included with membership, no gym bags allowed in workout area, brand new machines. Plus we lucked out that they were having a deal on registration. And the best part is that the hubby is inspired to go to the gym again with his goal of getting rid of the last 20 lbs and maybe even building up some muscle. We shall see.]

Anyway, we decided to roam around Old Oakland and check out one of the new restaurants in that area and we happened upon Levende East. With it's high ceilings and dark but comfy interior, it was definitely a sit and linger kind of restaurant. There were high tables for just cocktails and appetizers or nicely padded leather chairs for longer dining.

Here's what we had:
-warm bread with olive oil, chive, basil: we loved the warm bread, dense warm with a crusty exterior. could easily have this with a salad for a complete meal
-fried calamari salad: had a good balance of flavors
-indian styled mini lamb burgers: asked for medium rare, but still a bit dry. probably better if the lamb patties were thicker. A bit disappointed
-Kennebec fries: fries were nice and crisp with a bbq chip flavoring with a sour cream and chive dipping sauce. Decent, but not my favorite
-Duck confit with cherries: this was fabulous! And really made up for the disappointing burgers and fries.
-Upside down Martini
-forgot the other cocktail name: but both were really refreshing, not overly fruity or sweet, good balance of flavors so the alcohol was not overwhelming
-blueberry new york cheesecake: with more of a blueberry gelatin topping and graham cracker garnish. the hubby loved it and I found it quite enjoyable as well
-key lime pie: I had to order this because I know it's not something that I would bake at home. loved it! nice thick home made graham cracker crust with sweet black berries balanced off the key lime well. I wanted to finish it off even though my body said no more.
- 2006 calaveras viogner: dessert wine that was the pairing with the key lime. It was more of a parallel pairing. They were delightful if given some time between tasting the pie then sipping, but not together or immediately after the other.

Service was attentive but not overbearing. Our waiter knew his stuff and gave excellent recommendations. Never had to ask for water or a refill. Overall, a nice upscale, trendy but not snobby, restaurant with plenty of parking. We would go again and take people with us.

I'm glad Oakland is expanding its realm of sit down restaurants that are not all on College Ave as it allows people to explore the many wonderful neighborhoods that Oakland has.

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