Bistro Liaison, 1849 Shattuck Ave. (at Hearst Ave.), Berkeley, 510-849-2155, Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Mon.-Sun. 5-10 p.m., French classics served in a warm, country-bistro setting. The wine list features bottles for $27 to $75, with a corkage fee of $15. No corkage fee on Wednesday night, with a two-bottle limit per table. MacLean recommends: A juicy Merlot from the south of France.
Fellini, 1401 University Ave. (at Acton St.), Berkeley, 510-841-5200, Hours: Mon.-Sun. 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Rustic Italian cuisine, with vegan and vegetarian leanings and an array of soju cocktails. The wine list features glasses from $5 to $7.50 and bottles from $18 to $32, with a corkage fee of $10. Every Monday, all bottles are $12. No corkage fee on Tuesdays. MacLean recommends: A Primitivo from the Puglia region of southern Italy.
LoCoco's Restaurant, 4270 Piedmont Ave., (at Echo Ave.), Oakland, 510-652-6222, Hours: Tues.-Thurs. and Sun. 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 4 p.m.-11 p.m., A cash-only spot for pizza and other Italian-American comfort food. No corkage fee, every night. MacLean recommends: A full-bodied Zinfandel from California's North Coast.
Luka's Taproom & Lounge, 2221 Broadway, (at West Grand Ave.), Oakland, 510-451-4677, Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; nightly 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Downtown Oakland hotspot whose brasserie cuisine is a little bit Belgian, a little bit California. The wine list features glasses from $6 to $9 and bottles from $25 to $95, with a $15 corkage fee. Every Sunday, all bottles are half off. MacLean recommends: A buttery California Chardonnay.
Spettro, 3355 Lakeshore Ave., (at Trestle Glen Rd.), Oakland, 510-451-7738, Hours: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. daily., Ultra-kid-friendly, with a culinary focus that our reviewer described as starting in Italy but veering toward "funky multicultural California fusion." The wine list features bottles with a median price of $24. No corkage fee, every night, for the first bottle; $5 for each additional bottle. MacLean recommends: A Merlot from Lodi, California.
Venezia, 1799 University Ave. (at Grant St.), Berkeley, 510-849-4681, Hours: Tues.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Mon.-Thurs. 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fresh pasta is a focus in this faux-piazza setting that's good for large parties. The wine list features glasses from $6 to $8.75 and bottles from $24 to $95, with a $12 corkage fee. Every Monday, all bottles are half off. See pairing recommendations for Fellini and LoCoco's.
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