Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

The best way to get to Encuentro (finally open!)

By awoodall
Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 1:47 pm in Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl.

The “Holiday Buy Night” waterfront bazaar tonight on Jack London Square does not lack for creative indie merchants. But the food was a bit on the scarce side Thursday night. So here is my suggestion for making the most of the scene. Start with a tour of the bottom level of the market hall (given over to the bazaar for Thursday and Friday) then head upstairs for a glass of beer or wine and a tamale. Then circle the second floor. The shopping and credit card swiping will help you burn off the tamale and work up an appetite so that when you have found the perfect (PERFECT!) gift for all — even a Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig or Raiders action hero doll for Uncle Joe — you can glide by the nearby Oakbook gallery shopping-for-art show opening tonight, then stroll (or waddle if you have stopped off at Bocanova, Miss Pearl’s etc.) to Encuentro, the latest venture of Oakland entrepreneur and developer Merritt Sher, his daughter, Lacey Sher, and his fellow Metrovation real estate brain trust Linda Braz. The tapas cafe/wine bar opened Dec. 4 and has Millennium chef Eric Tucker at the helm. The boite on 202  Second St. has been in the making for quite some time and behind schedule at least a year, if I recall correctly, proving that the hurdles are high even for a three people with sway and experience. I have heard from others that the biggest hurdle is a certain Alameda County health dept. inspector. More on that later. The wait sounds worth peppered portobello mushrooms with caramelized fennel and onions and smoked goat cheddar or smoked pecan cheese with caper aioli (!!!).  I am such a sucker for capers. And, speaking of waddling, Miette’s retail store is open for cake orders and will open fully soon soon soon!

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