The place to show off the East Bay used to be the Claremont's Paragon deck. These days the place to be is Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill. The $22-million renovation to the old municipal boathouse is stunning with mahogany, marble, hardwood floors, and open and semi-open kitchen and bar action. Practically every dining room, bar, deck, grill, nook, and cranny in the stylish 10,000-square-foot redo offers a spectacular view of Oakland's pride and joy, Lake Merritt. Runners, sailors, and skullers have long known the joys of Lake Merritt. Geese and other migratory birds and wildlife enjoy residence on the tidal estuary. Now the rest of us who also want to enjoy the bounty of the lake can do so comfortably — on our keisters, under red umbrellas outdoors at Lake Chalet. Or, at chillier times, indoors to the nearby crackle of a roaring fire and a window view of the serene lake. At dusk, a visitor sipping a local brew, fine wine, or fancy specialty cocktail might see an elegant gondola glide past as the Necklace of Lights outlining the bucolic lake's perimeter reflects off the water. It's a beautiful sight from any Lake Chalet vantage point.
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