This local Italian restaurant is tucked away in a small strip mall on Moraga Road, not far from Chow's in Lafayette. It has been open about 4 years, but I never had the chance to try it until this past Friday. I thought the food was quite good, but the most interesting thing is that this place lost their liquor license and is currently allowing patrons to bring their own wine with no corkage charge.
I tried the radicchio salad, which was chopped finely and mixed with crispy fried pancetta, the salty, crunchy, and balsamic vinaigrette flavors blended nicely. I then had the grilled veal chop, which was enormous, with roasted potatoes, more pancetta, and broccoli rabe. My husband tried the minestrone which was served in a huge earthenware bowl; he said it was a meal in itself. He then tried the papperdelle with wild boar ragout. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the sauce was very flavorful. We brought a 2001 Sainte Foy Bordeaux from Chateau Carbonneau which was excellent. We finished the meal with coffee and shared a chocolate tart with zabaglione. The tart had a hint of orange and was very dense and rich. Normally the tart of the day is a fruit tart, but they ran out of raspberry sauce and came up with this instead which we didn't mind at all. Next time I'd like to try the homemade tiramisu.
The service is very efficient, they had a waiter and another server working that night. It is not a big place, maybe about 10 tables. Other things to try on the menu would be the gnocchi, and for meat lovers there is a 3 meat plate - sausage, lamb and (I think)veal. They also have a fish special every night and a vegetarian risotto choice. It is a nice alternative to some of the other local spots as you can actually speak without having to raise your voice. The quality of the food coupled with the no corkage fee (don't know how long that will last) makes it a worthwhile destination if you are in the Walnut Creek/Lamorinda area.
960 Moraga Rd.