Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Franklin Square Wine Bar

SaraGrace and I have been experimenting with wine bars lately; for her birthday we went to Zza's Enoteca in Oakland, and then 3 days later for mine we went to Franklin Square
The first thing to say about Franklin Square is that we liked the atmosphere. They had outdoor seating (a big plus) and a cute, narrow main dining area with a bar. When we got there, the outdoor seating was quite noisy from the traffic of downtown Oakland, but by the time we left it was quite pleasant.

The food was quite pleasant, if a bit mis-served.
We had the chicken pâté which was simply divine. It was unfortunately served with thickly sliced bread rather than crackers or toast, so we had to separate the crust from the bread before eating so that the bread did not overwhelm the delicate flavours of the pâté.
We also had the pecorino, which, whilst a good accompaniment to the reds we ordered, was overpriced for the miniscule portion that we received.

The Wine selection was decent. Like expected, about 1/2 the menu was devoted to whites and of the reds about 1/2 were Bordeaux varietals, leaving only a 1/4 of the menu for our preferred styles.

The major disappointment came in in the serving of the wines. I ordered 2 1/2 glasses of wine; a Contra Costa Zin and a Sierra foothills Syrah. SaraGrace ordered a flight of Santa Cruz Pinot's.
The Syrah and Zin came in ridiculous heavy glasses with a thick bead around the mouth of the glass. Great water glasses, but completely inappropriate to taste wine in. The wine was also very warm. Probably 70f+. The Pinot's also did not come until the food was almost gone.

I inquired from the waitress about the glasses and the warm wine; she responded that the glasses came from the distributor and that the wine was warm because their ac unit was on the fritz.
If they are counting on their aC to keep the wine cool, then apparently they have no proper wine storage. This is actually not so big a deal as they probably go through their wine fast enough that the few days of room temp rather than cellar temp that the bottles experience are not likely to ruin the wine. The bigger sin is the shitty glassware. They are a wine bar for gods sake - they should invest in glassware likely to sell more wine.

The Verdict:

No hurry to return