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Nov 16, 2007 12:03 PM

Franklin Square Wine Bar - Oakland

Stopped by for a quick lunch the other day. It seems to be a great addition to the neighborhood.
Across the street from Luka's and run by the same folks. Salads, sandwiches and small plates. Nice wine selection. Friendly folks. And the house made truffles are great.

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  1. Lunch! For some reason it never occured to me that they would have lunch....which is desperately needed in the nabe...

    will be stopping by soon; already have plans to check out the wine list one of these evenings soon...


    2 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf

      I had meant to post about this.. saw they were open on Thursday when I walked by in the morning. (okay, assumed they were open, since everything was set up and someone was sweeping leaves away from the door, which never happens during construction).

      Lunch? Hmm. I had expected it would be an evening-only place. But Luka's does get insanely crowded at lunch, so maybe this is the overflow area. As long as they make the food there, rather than porting it over from across the street...

      1. re: susancinsf

        It does seem to be just salads, sandwiches, and small plates (as Marty said), in the $5-15 range. It looked quite different from the standard Luka's menu, but with some interesting options. (I did not get a menu because they weren't open at 8am for some reason...)

      2. Tried this place. Some good wines, food was solid but not great, friendly servers. Kind of reminiscent of Cesar's but younger, hipper, quieter, and cheaper--wines start at $3 taste / $6 glass. Open all afternoon on weekdays so it's another option for a late lunch.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Didn't click enough times? here's the link:

          Franklin Square Wine Bar
          2212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Went to this place Friday night and yeah, I thought it reminded me of Cesar. It's getting crowded already for an after-work place already even though it's been open for less than a month. Like the wine selection, people were friendly, and the cauliflower risotto was comforting and well-seasoned (and extra creamy). BTW, they started offering truffle shavings over the risotto for the first time the night I went ($5 extra) but I didn't get a real sense of the truffles, so I would save the money and just get the cauliflower risotto on its own. It stands up well by itself. All other dishes were decent. It's a nice addition (with fewer deep fried offerings than Lukas).

            1. re: singleguychef

              Went back again this evening. Pleased with the wine and the food. Went with three other folks and we tried a variety of small plates and the lamb chopper cheese. Everything was good. The place was medium busy but certainly not packed. The music was horrid and though we asked for a change it was not granted. I really want this place to make it....wish they might have been a bit more accommodating about the music. Heard others, including our waiter, say it was extremely annoying. But, the food and the wine will probably bring me back - just don't expect lots of food, but its really tasty stuff.

              1. re: marty S.

                Went by last weekend after 10pm. We were sort of hoping for something in the neighborhood after Luka's does its deafening 10pm transformation into a hip-hop palace. No luck. Loud music and it closes at 11. Looks like it has great potential, though. Maybe better luck on a weekday early evening?

                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                  Hasn't been loud when I've been there.

                  Mysteriously closed yesterday with no explanatory note in the window.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Good to know. Probably it was the old closing time turn up the music to make the people leave trick. We got there at about 10:45 and they were well into cleanup mode.

                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                      According to their website they close at 10:30pm. I tried updating the Places link but I got an "Application error" for my trouble. Anyway, their website is

          2. I went again on Friday night this week with some friends. We were there from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on a Friday night and the whole time we were there, there were only one other table and a single person at the bar. It was nice almost having the whole place to ourselves in a way because our friends had a young child that was a bit loud at times, but I was also worried whether people are coming to this place. I mean, it was a Friday night!? I'm just hoping it's the holiday week so that may be it.

            As for the food, we had a bunch of stuff and a bottle of Syrah from Alexander Valley and everything was good. I fell in love with the cauliflower risotto when I went early on but it wasn't on the menu this time, so it looks like the chef does change the menu with the season. This time he made a saffron risotto, which was good (but I still liked the cauliflower risotto better). I also liked the house made sausage. It was really tender and it was on a bed of lentils that was seasoned really well.

            We also had the squab, which seems to be an ongoing item on the menu. The squab was incredibly soft and tender. It also had a nice seared flavor to the sauce. The sauteed chanterelles with white beans weren't so great because it was a bit soupy. For dessert we had raspberry cream puffs which was nice and sweet. The pastry wasn't excellent but still nice. I think everything was average or above average but all for pretty decent price. You can get a few plates and wine and not feel like you're busting the bank. So I do hope more people visit this place and not feel intimidated by the neighborhood.


            1 Reply
            1. re: singleguychef

              I wouldn't worry too much yet. Downtown Oakland restaurants rely on the after work crowd (remember when Verbena opened it was weeknights only). Lots of folks are off work this week, away visiting family, skiing, etc. Heck, on Piedmont Ave. last night (Saturday) many restaurants (including Dopo and LoCco's) were closed, yet we were able to get a table with no wait at Cesar.