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Does Oakland really need another pizza spot? Yes, it does, especially when it’s from the culinary minds behind the waterfront’s brilliant Brotzeit Lokal. Located in the former Hog’s Apothecary digs, near Homeroom and Tacos Oscar, Temescal’s new Magpie specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas and tapas, with about 36 beer, cider and wine taps.
Open since Dec. 27, Magpie is fine-casual, counter service and feels more like a bar than a restaurant, though kiddos are welcome and the general vibe is family-friendly. Here’s our experience during the restaurant’s first Saturday night in business.
THE VIBE: Magpie still has the industrial edge of Hog’s Apothecary, but the cafeteria-style seating has been replaced with nicer, polished wood tables and trendy metal-and-wood chairs. You order at the counter, sample and settle on a beer or cider, then take your number to the bar or one of the tables and await your meal while watching the game. The TVs are still there.
THE FOOD: The opening menu offers small plates ($6-$15), salads ($13-$14) and pizzas (14 or 18 inches; $16-$32). Pizza is the star here: They’re thin, perfectly-blistered and made with top-notch ingredients. Quattro Fungi ($21 for 14″), with its four cheeses, truffle oil and fried sage, was a hit at our table, as was the spicy La Picosito ($20 for 14″), topped with pepperoni, roasted Calabrian chile and fresh garlic.
Like meatballs? Mapgie’s deliver. Albondigas ($15) are housemade with pork and beef and served in a flavorful marinara with Swiss chard and crostini. Those meatballs and a salad make a fine meal. We’re ready to go back just for Magpie’s Arugula Salad ($13). It arrives as this massive heap of the most tender baby arugula layered with wisps of manchego, toasted almonds and slivers of crisp Asian pears. So yum.
THE DRINK: Magpie focuses on local craft and small-batch producers. The taps currently feature 18 beers, 12 ciders and six wines. Beers ($4-$9.50) are a good mix of approachable ales, pilsners and IPAs alongside a few eclectic brews, including a rye-tastic saison. Nine ciders ($7.50-$9) include bone-dry offerings from across NorCal, like Sebastopol’s Goat Rock Cider and Philo’s Gowan’s. Choose a flight of three 4-ounce pours ($12) or build your own combination ($14).
DON’T MISS: Lunchtime, when they serve pizza by the slice ($3.50-$4.50) with an optional side salad for only $2. Also, weekend brunch starts Jan. 11.
PERFECT FOR: Salad and a slice; dinner with the fam; beer and albondigas; a cider education.
DETAILS: Open daily from 11:30 a.m. at 375 40th St., Oakland; www.magpieoakland.com
Source: Thanks https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/01/09/first-look-inside-oaklands-new-pizza-beer-cider-bar-magpie/