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Restaurants & Bars 8

Bellanico in Oakland

Bryan Gros | Mar 26, 200809:46 PM

Wow, I can't believe it has been open for what, four days? And I'm the first to post?

Anyway, stopped by Bellanico, the new Italian place (Osteria?) on Park St in Oakland, immediately next to Blackberry Bistro in the Glenview. Google tells me it is opened by Chris Shepherd and Elizabeth Frumusa, who own Aperto in Potrero Hill. Name is a concatenation of the nicknames of their children.

Anyway, took our 3 year old tonight and had a great meal. A long thin space with a big granite bar on one side and tables for maybe 30 on the other. Menu reminds me of Pizzaolo, without the pizza. Good, valued wine list, almost all european, and a good selection of flights. We ordered a chicchetti (5 on the menu), two anitpasti (maybe four selections), one pasta (4 here) and one secundi (6 options?), along with orechiette and butter for our son. A number of tables were already occupied by 5:15, with a couple other kids, and it was full by the time we left.

They brought his pasta ($5) with the checchetti ($4), a plate of three breaded and fried meatballs on a salsa verde. Our antipasti were pork belly($8) with a salad of apple and fennel, and a warm faro salad($7) with roasted hazelnuts and raddiccio. Orechiette ($13) was with a pork ragu and a the secundi was a grilled cod over lentils ($16). The ragu was quite meaty and I'm glad it was not a standard red sauce, but the scant liquid was maybe a white wine braising liquid with a touch of tomato paste? Excellent depth, and the cod was flaky and moist. We went for the bomboloni ($6), which my son enjoyed, served with a light creme anglaise kind of sauce.

We had two flights, "aromatic whites (13.50)" and "Italy, North to South (13)". Six wines I was not familiar with, and all very good. There is probably 50 wines on the list, maybe 20 available by the glass. Most in the $25 to $40 range. Corkage $12. Service was attentive. Tables are pretty darn close together, though, and it was noisy, but not too bad. Prices seemed good, and portions were moderately sized.


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