Encuentro is as inclined as any other eatery to fetishize all things organic and sustainable but also puts a premium on haute cuisine. The menu includes stuffed prunes, bruschettas, red quinoa, and other delicacies, all nicely garnished and reasonably priced. Not to mention that the decor features eco-friendly and scavenged materials.
The creators of this vegetarian, all-organic restaurant in Oakland's warehouse district include Eric Tucker, executive chef at acclaimed San Francisco vegetarian restaurant Millennium, and Lacey Sher, former owner of New Jersey vegan restaurant Down to Earth. Veteran home chef and longtime commercial real-estate agent Linda Braz is the third partner. Artful sandwiches include peppered Portobello mushroom on a whole-wheat sourdough roll with caramelized onions, caramelized fennel, smoked hazelnut/almond vegan "cheese," and caper aioli. Other standouts include black-lentil stew, farro salad, and macadamia-paté-stuffed dates. The owners considered opening a vegan place, but in the end decided to serve cheese: After all, this place has a wide selection of organic wines from small, independent producers.
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 5-10 p.m.
Payment Type: cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express
All produce and many wines are organic; the entire menu is vegetarian with many vegan items as well.