Last week I went to this new Italian restaurant with a wood oven on Park Blvd in Oakland, and had a great experience. It's already a popular neighborhood place, and it's not that big, so it was packed when we got there, and the three of us ended up with seats at a corner of the bar. We shared two antipasti, two contorni, and one pizza, and that filled all of us up, though there was plenty more on the menu that I would have loved to have tried.
We had: of the antipasti, roasted mediterranean octopus with olives, crushed yukon gold potatoes and fried capers and crisp fried chestnut pumpkin arancini filled with fontina, proscuitto and sage; of the controni, roasted pumpkin and braised winter greens; and the pizza that we got was the bianco with proscuitto, wild arugula, and we had it with an egg as well. People had compared this place to Pizzaiolo to me before I went, which I was a little skeptical of, but the comparison is valid, though the food at Pizzaiolo is still just a bit better. The food that we had was all delicious (I really really loved the braised winter greens and the octopus), but I could tell that the quality of the ingredients isn't quite as good as at Pizzaiolo or Dopo, and the pizza crust isn't quite as good either, though still pretty tasty. However, the prices are significantly less -- three of us ate for $45 before tip, none of the pizzas is more than $13, and the most expensive thing on the menu is the pan roasted rock cod that's one of the entrees. There are a lot of pizzas that sound interesting on the menu (it has 10 pizzas, three entrees, as well as 6 or 7 antipasti and 4 salads), so I'll definitely return.
The service was also incredibly friendly and warm, and the whole place had a great neighborhood restaurant vibe.
I'm really glad that this place opened up in Oakland, and I can't wait to try more of the menu.
4214 Park Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94602
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