Best Waterfront DiningBut you’ll have to beg for a window seat

Pasta Pelican

At most waterfront restaurants you pay premium prices for average food and a great view. Alameda’s Pasta Pelican, on the other hand, charges low prices for average food and a great view. Set in a brownstone building overlooking the Oakland Estuary, this traditional Italian restaurant specializes in pasta dishes (not pelicans), most of which run $9 to $13. At $11, its version of spaghetti and meatballs features a hearty meat sauce and a spicy meatball, just as it should be. The wine list is packed with choices around $20 a bottle. It’s a family-friendly place, but you can spirit crying babies into the upstairs lounge, which features a big-screen TV and full menu. But it’s the view that really matters: Watch the boats pull in after a day on the bay and take in downtown Oakland’s surprisingly impressive skyline. At night, the water reflects the lights of Jack London Square, which glitter like a thousand mirrors. Très romantique. Best bet for a window seat is to call for a reservation and beg.

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