Last night my friends Eddie, Katrina, Parker and I had a well-deserved Mom’s Night Out. We decided to go to Spettro’s for dinner – and a review of that restaurant will follow soon – but we didn’t want to get there too early, lest the place be full of children. If we’re out without our children, we definitely want to avoid other people’s as well.

So we decided to go to a bar instead. Katrina had one in mind, blocks and blocks away from Spettro’s, but right before we got there we went by di bartolo and it seemed like a really nice place to stop. We were concerned that it was too much of a restaurant, but they have a bar area in the back which was just perfect for us. It’s small, dark, and while it was crowded, it was quite comfortable. The front dining room is also small and dark, and I think it could be a pleasant place for a romantic evening.

di bartolo offers ten interesting mix drink concoctions ($10), products of a very creative bartender. Eddie and I went for El Rojo Obispo: Absolut ruby red, patron citronge, fresh mint, pomegrante juice and lime. It was very good, though a little bit too sweet for me – as the ice melted and the drink diluted that was less of a problem. Both Eddie and I would definitely order it again. Katrina had the grand: vanilla vodka, mission fig puree and fresh lemon, served up. It was delicious, it had a warm fussiness to it, and a caramelish taste. I’d definitely order it. The loser of the evening was Parker’s Madagascar sazerac: Maker’s mark, vanilla sugar, thyme sprig, served on the rocks. The problem was that it tasted very alcoholic, if you are the type of person who drinks your alcohol straight you might like it, but if you are a mixed-drinks type of person, you may want to stay away from it. In any case, Parker couldn’t finish it. Finally, Eddie and Parker shared a mojito. I didn’t try it but they both said they liked it.

In the middle of our drinks we figured it’d be good if we had something to eat (though we’d munched on crackers with goat cheese, nicely provided by Eddie, in the car) so we ordered their garlic fries ($5) and their mushroom pizza with caramelized onions and chevre ($14). The fries were good, though not nearly as good as the fries from A Cote, or even our neighborhood’s Joplin’s (though they were definitely more refined, thinner, than the latter). For $5 I would have expected them to be somewhat better. The same thing can be said about the pizza, it was very good with a very thin crust and a good balance of toppings (though the mushrooms were particularly good), but it was definitely too small for the prize – or too pricey for the size and lack of “awe” element. But you know me, I’m pretty jaded by food and it was a good pizza.

In all we very much enjoyed our time at di bartolo and we are planning to go there for dinner at our next mom’s night out.

di bartolo
3306 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA

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