Had a very good meal at C'era una Volta in Alameda last night. I love that they give you a price break if you order a full Italian meal--$35 for three courses, $40 with dessert. Service a little scattered but the friendly atmosphere and charming owner more than make up for it.
Antipasti, we had the cold plate (salami, cheese, vegetables) and some sauteed shrimp, both good though the shrimp weren't particularly Italian. Primi, "lobster" ravioli (I think really fish ravioli with some lobster in the sauce) and porcini ravioli, both very good, properly al dente and ample servings. Secondi, fabulous boar stew with barley, and a nice grilled salmon which wasn't very Italian. Dolci, good Italian-style ricotta cheesecake, in authentically moist and the better for it, and very good cassata. Drank a 2003 verdicchio and a 2003 Cantina Bolzano "La Pergola" lagrein, both fresh and fruity and a good match for the food.
All in all an exceptional value and a very pleasant evening, especially with a stop at Lucky Ju Ju Pinball on the way home. Next time I'll be careful to make sure I order all Italian dishes, and probably won't go when I'm in the mood for fish rather than red meat.
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