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The French words ‘à côté’ denote, ‘right next to, being nearest, and on the sideline.’ We tend to want to be ‘à côté ‘to the star players, the movers and groovers in life, and, in this case, the night life. Well, there is a cuisine scene with stage presence on College Ave in Rockridge called À Côté , being a mere door away from its sister restaurant and namesake inspiration -- Le Citron. It’s a hip haven offering Spanish/French styled tapas and ample dishes hinging on a multi-Mediterranean theme.
As you cross the threshold, the lively bar and its atmospheric backdrop greet you at the left-side of the front room. The bartop flows and curves down the length of the room, and every seat is occupied by a seasoned customer. The slick bartenders are busy, making and shaking their signature drinks. We chose the Fig Martini, Mojito (the best I’ve had), and the Martini Normandie (Calvados, Coeur de Lion Pommeau, and lime) -- all are $8 each. -- Laurel Timms