Donato Enoteca 1041 Middlefield Rd./Main St., (650) 701-1000. L-D daily; $$$. Operating in a varied space that offers a casual front room, a bar, a posh backroom with upholstered chairs and a rustic wood-paneled ceiling, and patio seating, this popular spot features a contemporary Italian menu. Appetizers include wild boar bruchetta on grilled ciabatta, ungreasy fritto of organic artichokes and rock shrimp, and sometimes a caprese salad with colorful heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. The prix-fixe menu is a bargain with three courses for $34, and sometimes its dessert is the best of the lot--like when it is poached organic peaches on puff pastry with peach sorbet. Pastas are all housemade and include spinach pappardelle topped with braised lamb in red sauce, small meat-stuffed ravioli, and very popular squid-ink spaghetti with rock shrimp, peas, and grape tomatoes. The risottos are reputedly quite special, and pizza made in a wood-fired oven, grilled whole seabass, and terra cotta-roasted free-range chicken are more options. The wine list is heavy on Italian vintages, and that back room is lined with wine storage cabinets. Delicious bread and dipping sauce is complimentary.
More ideas for exploring Northern California.
image ©2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers