Vine Hospitality, the team behind the popular Left Bank restaurants in Larkspur, Menlo Park, and San Jose; LB Steak in San Ramon and San Jose; Petite Left Bank in Tiburon; Meso on Santana Row in San Jose; and Camper in Menlo Park; is unveiling a new Left Bank Brasserie in Oakland’s Jack London Square on Friday, February 17.
Chef Roland Passot, along with partner Ed Levine, opened the first Left Bank Brasserie in Larkspur in 1994; the French Brasserie was followed by locations in Menlo Park and San Jose. Under the direction of Obadaih Ostergard, who took over as CEO and Partner after the death of Levine in 2018, the brand has expanded further; introducing a Petite Left Bank in Tiburon last year, and opening the new Jack London Square location boasting a scenic waterfront space with sprawling indoor and outdoor seating, marking the evolution of the brand after nearly 30 years.
“Left Bank has been one of the Bay Area’s French restaurants which has demonstrated true lasting power,” says CEO Obadiah Ostergard in a statement. “We took the opening of this new restaurant as an opportunity to refresh the brand after nearly 30 years, and we’re excited to see it come to life, especially in such an amazing space.”
Taking inspiration from traditional Parisian brasseries along the left bank of the Seine River, the restaurant will offer an all-day menu of French classic brasserie fare, ranging from lighter options to heartier dishes, along with a few special lunch and weekend brunch items.
Menu options include:
French Onion Soup, with Emmenthal cheese
● Prawns Provençal, with tomato, Niçoise olives, basil, capers, and Pernod garlic butter
● Seafood Plateau, with half chilled lobster, salmon tartare, Dungeness crab cocktail, shrimp cocktail, mussels, and assorted oysters (photo, credit: Leila Seppa)
● Steak Tartare, with capers, shallots, and Dijon
● Salade Niçoise, with seared Ahi tuna, egg, haricots verts, and olives
● Steak Frites, with skirt steak, pommes frites, and choice of Bordelaise, Roquefort butter, or au poivre sauce
● Beef Bourguignon, with red wine braised boneless short ribs, bacon lardons, baby carrots, button mushrooms, pearl onions, and fingerling potatoes
● Coq au Vin, with red wine marinated chicken leg and thigh, bacon, carrots, mushrooms, pearl onions, and buttered fettuccine
Lunch will see a few added sandwiches such as a Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame, and brunch will bring a number of favorites including French Toast with thick cut sweet batard bread, berry compote, syrup, and orange vanilla crème chantilly, Duck Confit Hash, or a Crab and Spinach Quiche.
Left Bank Brasserie Chef Larry Finn will oversee menu development with Executive Chef Chris Ahr overseeing the kitchen.
The bar program is inspired by the classic Bar Américain (an establishment in France that serves food and a wide range of spirits and beverages) offering cocktails of a bygone era—paying homage to the kind of drinks Hemingway and Steinbeck would have enjoyed—such as Negronis, Bee’s Knees, and Moscow Mules. Director of Wine & Spirits Serena Harkey has developed a well-curated wine selection of bottles and by the glass options from French and California producers, selected to complement the brasserie fare. There is also a large collection of rotating taps, seasonal drafts, and bottled beer.
Arcsine transformed the sprawling 5,500+ sq. ft. industrial warehouse space, with over 2,000 sq. ft of outdoor dining, into a space evocative of Parisian brasseries with a rich color palette of French blues and deep reds, accented by antique metal details and decorative tin ceiling paneling. Wood bistro chairs, a mosaic tile floor, fluted glass, polished brass shelving, and walnut wood flooring, all indicative of the genre, further enhance the feeling. Custom French blue-gray toile wallpaper, designed by Astek, features landmarks from the surrounding region, such as the Bay Bridge or the Oakland cranes, rooting the restaurant in its community. Other distinct elements include a vintage host stand at the entrance and, in the center of the main dining room, a grand banquette with metal accents surrounded by greenery mixing modern and traditional elements.
A nineteen-seat bar with classic elegant details such as brown vinyl barstools, black and white accent tiles, and a marble bar top. In contrast to the front, the rear dining room is decorated with red leather and tufted buttonless upholstered banquette seating, gold pendant light fixtures, and a window showcasing the restaurant’s wine collection.