I recently had brunches at Bellanico and at Marzano, both on Park Blvd in Oakland. Both are italian places, though Marzano centers on pizza and Bellanico is more generalist.
Both served bombolini - little round italian donuts. Bellanico serves with a vanilla custard sauce, Marzano served with a chocolate sauce and house-made strawberry jam. If I could dip the Bellanico bombolini into the Marzano chocolate sauce, culinary nirvana would be achieved.
Both served french toast, which our 6 year old ordered. Marzano serves on brioche with a strawberry sauce, which was different from the jam according to the server. It was slightly dry. We drizzled more chocolate sauce on it to compensate. Bellanico serves on country bread with syrup, so Bellanico won here.
I love eggs. I ordered poached at Bellanico, and they were exquisite. Perfectly prepared, just heavenly. The house potatoes were also perfectly cooked, soft enough and flavorful but not overwhelmingly spicy, so they complemented the eggs.
At Marzano, I ordered a breakfast pizza, since that is what they do there, and it gets a big egg in the middle. It was great to have a Marzano pizza with egg.
My husband ordered frittata at both restaurants. He greatly preferred Bellanico. While they couldn't be compared directly as they had different ingredients, he found the Bellanico more flavorful. At Marzano, we had to order the potatoes as a side. They were fine - not terribly exciting.
Service was top-notch at both locations - attentive and friendly, very accommodating to our child. Our Marzano bill was a bit of sticker shock, however. Looking at the menus side by side online, Marzano averages about $2 more per entree. Since it is hard for us to get out to brunch, we would choose Bellanico again in a heartbeat, but would be hard-pressed to return to Marzano for brunch. For pizza dinner, if we can get in, absolutely.
4238 Park Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602
4214 Park Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94602