To celebrate Alex and CT's birthdays, I wanted to find just the right place! I selected Pican Restaurant in Oakland for it's ambiance, it's fantastic cuisine, and it's location in an area called Uptown Oakland.
In this case, I made a magical choice! The stars were in alignment and the end results were way beyond anything I could have hoped for.
We pulled up to give our car over to the valet, (a smiling young Asian man) and walked toward the front door of Pican. There is a seating area outside where a very handsome African American man and a stunning woman were having a coffee and conversation. The man looked at us and smiled saying hello and commenting "Y'all look like you just came from a great photo shoot!" At that moment, I was so glad I told Alex and CT to dress to impress!
The interiors of Pican are beautiful. The polished woods shine, the paintings are tasteful. The restaurant exudes warmth and good taste! The place was fairly busy for a Thursday evening, but we were shown to our table immediately.
CT and I selected to sit side by side against the wall so we could both face Alex. I'm very blond, CT is coffee with splash of cream and we both have very short hair. Alex is what he calls "a brown guy". (It occurred to me that the waitress, and others, might assume that CT and I were a "couple". Never mind, should I need to choose a wife, CT would be right up there on the list of potentials!)
A tall, lovely young woman came to take a drink order from us and realizing that Pican boasted the largest selection of bourbons on the West Coast, we decided to go with cocktails. I had my usual, Maker's Mark Manhattan, and CT asked what the "pour" whiskey was. The lovely woman responded with a straight face but a twinkle in her eye that it was "Fighting Cock". CT replied that she would try an Old Fashioned with the pour whiskey. Alex declined a cocktail because he is not usually a fan of hard liquor. (On rare occasions, Alex will risk the "fire water" but not when he's driving!)
We got our drinks and CT and I sputtered and giggled a bit over CT's "Fighting Cock" whiskey. The appetizers were fabulous and we chose our entrees.
The young woman who was our waitress struck the most perfect note I've ever seen. I felt that she was exactly like a perfect hostess in beautiful surroundings making sure her guests were comfortable, well fed, and happy. When we commented on the perfection of the food, her beautiful smile was sincere and she said "It makes me so happy to hear that!". She was never rushed (although she was taking care of a number of tables). This woman made it all look so effortless. She smiled and it was real. She also made sure we had everything we needed at every minute!
I have never before been a true fan of Southern Cooking. Pican changed my mind completely on this matter. The food is delicious and tastes like love! I'm a convert. If you go to the link, you can check out their menu. Believe me, everything that came to our table was perfection!
After dinner, the handsome man who had greeted us outside approached our table and asked if we had enjoyed our meal. It turns out his name is Michael LeBlanc and he is the owner of Pican. Looking around the dining room and bar area, it was obvious that the diversity of Oakland and the richness of its culture were on full display.
Should you plan a visit to San Francisco, please venture over to Oakland and try a taste of Pican. You won't regret it!