Bellanico Restaurant & Wine Bar 4238 Park Blvd./Wellington St., Glenview, (510) 336-1180. L M-F, Sat-SunBr, D daily; $$. Reservations advised. This small neighborhood restaurant produces spectacular Italian fare. Seating is at tables and chairs, and bar seats handle overflow and solo diners. A pleasant possibility here on a warm day is sitting outside by the sidewalk, which I did.
|exterior of Bellanico Restaurant & Wine Bar in Oakland, California|
Complimentary bread is long, thin toasts along with a bean spread (sometimes it is bread with fruity olive oil).
|toast and bean spread at Bellanico Restaurant & Wine Bar in Oakland, California|
You’ll definitely want to try an appetizer, which on the ever-changing menu might be cauliflower fritters, fried squash blossoms stuffed with cauliflower, or housemade burrata with toasts--which is what I shared with a companion.
|housemade burrata at Bellanico Restaurant & Wine Bar in Oakland, California|
A three-course lunch tasting menu is a bargain at $27, but instead we ordered a la carte and shared everything. Lunch has the option for smaller plates of pasta, but we ordered the regular portion of five beautiful and delicious casunzei ravioli stuffed with red beets.
|casunzei ravioli at Bellanico Restaurant & Wine Bar in Oakland, California|
Pasta is housemade, and a few panini are also options. Swiss chard malfatti and gnocchi described as “delicate pillows of heaven” are on my list for next time. I’ve also heard good things about the deep-fried meatballs, housemade pesto, and duck pasta. For dessert think bomboloni Florentine doughnuts, affogato, or warm fruit crostata.
|fruit crostata at Bellanico Restaurant & Wine Bar in Oakland, California|
The only thing I didn’t care for here was the loud music inside. I wouldn’t have minded the volume if it had been an Italian aria, but it wasn’t.
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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers