If you're venturing out to the East Bay but are still in a Marina kind of mood, treat a special someone to dessert at A16 Rockridge, Oakland's upscale taste of Italy on College Avenue. The romantically lit restaurant attracts a sophisticated crowd, but with Chef Rocky Maselli's menu and an impressive wine selection, there is something for everyone. Finish off a great meal with A16's seasonal dessert: the pumpkin fritters.
Served with a side of butterscotch zuppa anglaise that has a hint of liqueur, the fritters are autumn's take on hush puppies. The six or so fritters are covered in a finely granulated sugar over a layer of lightly fried dough. The inside of the fritter is Thanksgiving dessert, a warm gush of pumpkin pie-like filling. To top it off, the dessert is sprinkled with roasted pumpkin seeds that add a satisfying crunch to the sweet fritter and rich anglaise in each bite. Whether you and your companion are at an intimate, candle-lit table or hanging out at the chef's counter and enjoying the warmth from the mosaic-tiled pizza oven, the fritters are good enough to share -- with plenty for both of you. Prego.
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