We had an uneven but promising first meal last night. The restaurant is glossy and modern, design-y in a way that is unusual for Alameda, and even more so given its location in the South Shore Shopping Center. The chef is from Abruzzo, a region I have zero familiarity with, but the menu is studded with dishes I haven’t seen before (chitarrine al cacao with rabbit ragu, gnocchi in a squash, mushroom and white wine sauce) that I assumed were regional.
Pizzas were very good – beautifully charred crusts, more tender than crisp, maybe a bit thicker around the edge than ideal, but very good. We enjoyed one with sausage and broccoli rabe, and one with crisp slices of potato and huge, fat, fresh mussels.
The chitarrine was marred by crunchy clumps of pasta that had stuck together and not cooked fully, and the rabbit ragu was too heavy on sweet spices for my taste. Other pasta dishes on the menu (that we did not get to try) include an oxtail stuffed ravioli, and a butternut squash agnolotti.
The pork chop is a beautiful thing, smoky from the oven, a touch more done than I’d normally want, but so flavorful it made up for it.
The most compelling thing, though was the dish we couldn’t get – there is a different rotisserie meat each night, and we had the unfortunate luck to miss out on rabbit. They plan to rotate chicken, duck, rabbit, pork and goat in the future. I plan to call ahead on random days until I hit a rabbit day, and will try to pre-order one if they let me.
The restaurant was near full but not excessively loud, despite the general lack of soft surfaces, and service was enthusiastic, even exuberant. They have a private dining room for 16, as well as an outdoor patio space.