It's my birthday this weekend and my mother (who's from out of town) wants to take me out to dinner, but asked that I pick a restaurant. I love Oakland and would like to stay in the city. I'd like a nice mid-range restaurant (no Commis) with variety of food and great cocktails. So here's my shortlist:
Plum (largely based on the SF Chron rating and this fine review by Daveena: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/737525 ). My front-runner.
A regretful no to: Bay Wolf (beer/wine only), Levende East, Ozumo (overrated IMO), Bar Lata (love, but had a birthday there last year), A Cote (birthdayed as well), Pican (3rd time's the charm), Flora, Mua, and most Italian (the next night we'll be at Caffe Sociale in SF).
The catch is that I'd prefer the restaurant is not screamingly loud (one of the reasons I eliminated Flora and Mua). I still haven't been to Plum, but it's got 4 bells from the Chronicle—not something that would normally deter me, but I know my mom would feel more comfortable without having to shout or strain to hear. I'm looking for opinions from diners who prefer it quiet to see if we can get by at Plum anyway, or if I should pick another option.
5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618
827 Washington St., Oakland, CA 94607
3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118
468 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607
Bay Wolf Restaurant
3853 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
2442A Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612
2251 Broadway Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612
2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611