Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.14mi
  2. Distance: 0.17mi
  3. Distance: 0.27mi
  4. Distance: 0.43mi
  1. Distance: 0.14mi
  2. Distance: 0.17mi
  3. Distance: 0.27mi
  4. Distance: 0.43mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.14mi
  2. Distance: 0.17mi
  3. Distance: 0.27mi
  4. Distance: 0.43mi
  1. Distance: 0.14mi
  2. Distance: 0.17mi
  3. Distance: 0.27mi
  4. Distance: 0.43mi

About C'era Una Volta

C'era Una Volta - Italian Restaurant

This sun-splashed location is a hidden treasure on a quiet tree-lined cobblestone promenade. Our Italian restaurant brings a Taste of Italy to the Island of Alameda with delicious Tuscan, regional Italian dishes and an extensive Italian wine list.

From the day we opened our doors in 2004 we have received numerous awards for our food, ambiance, service, and wine selection. Chef Rudy Duran is one of only a handful of Bay Area chefs recognized by the Academia Italiana della Cucina for his authentic Italian cuisine. C'era Una Volta, voted Best Italian Restaurant in Alameda 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012

1332 Park St on Redwood Square
Alameda, CA 94501
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian, Vegetarian / Vegan, Wine Bar

Hours of Operation:
Brunch:
Saturday 12:00am - 3:30pm
Sunday 9:00am - 3:30pm

Dinner:
Tuesday- Thursday 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Sunday 4:00pm - 9:00pm

Happy Hour:
Tuesday- Sunday 3:00pm- 6:00pm

Cross Street:
Alameda Avenue

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(510) 769-4828

Website:
http://www.ceraunavolta.us/

Entertainment:
Live Music most Sundays for Brunch and Dinner. Our Alameda restaurant location hosts semi-annual Flamenco Dance performances , live music most Sundays for brunch and dinner.

Check the C'era Una Volta website calendar for Events and Entertainment. http://www.ceraunavolta.us/

Catering:
C’era Una Volta Italian Restaurant catering is a superb way to enjoy the time-tested culinary traditions of Italy in the comfort of your own home or office. One day advanced notice required for parties larger than 20. Delivery available throughout the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Our chef and catering department here in Alameda can also tailor a menu to fit your specific needs or help you plan ahead for special events, receptions, weddings and conferences. Schedule a consultation or place an order by calling 510.769.4828 anytime during our regular business hours!

Parking Details:
Free weekend and weekday parking after 5 pm in private lot located directly beside our Alameda Park Avenue entrance on Redwood Square. Ample street parking; some is metered.

Public Transit:
C'era Una Volta Italian Restaurant in Alameda, one block from AC Transit Bus lines O, OX, 20, 21, 51A.

BART connections available for each bus line.

Bus 51A from Berkeley
to Alameda via Downtown Oakland.

Bus 20 & 21 from Fruitvale BART Station
to Downtown Alameda in 10 min.

Executive Chef:
Rutilio Duran

Private Party Facilities:
In addition to our delivery and off-site catering services, we make our private dining room and mezzanine available for meetings, conferences, and customized full-service catered parties.

Private Party Contact:
Cheryl Principato: (888) 925-6434

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
C'era Una Volta holds semi-aanual Flamenco Dance Performance dinners, and also has guest musicians on Sundays in our Alameda restaurant. Visit our website for upcoming entertainment. We also hold an annual festival of Italian food and culture, ZabFest, every May with barbecue and games.

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C'era Una Volta Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.0

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.0

ambience

4.3

value

4.0

Noise

Quiet

87% would recommend it to a friend

Good for Anniversaries (7)
Neighborhood Gem (7)
Cozy (6)
See All
Special Occasion (6)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Good for a Date (6)
Good for Groups (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Great for Brunch (5)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Romantic (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Casual (4)
Fun (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Live Music (2)
Authentic (2)
Business Meals (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Seasonal (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Healthy (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Organic (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Comfort Food (1)
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726 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 2 days ago

Fantastic choice for brunch

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

Went for my husband's Birthday on Saturday night (1/20). Had 7:30 reservations. The restaurant was busy due to Alameda Restaurant Week and there appeared to be large parties of tables upstairs. Once seated, it took quite a bit of time to get served water, later we had to request bread and continually request water refills. The service was sparse due to the restaurant being severely understaffed - only 2 servers and 2 bus people. Service for dinner took over 2 hours; plates were not picked up in a reasonable amount of time even though the bus person repeatedly walked past our table and looked at the empty plates/glasses. One of the bus people appeared to be very new and not well trained; yet they had her preparing desserts too! The Hostess finally cleared our table, boxed the leftovers and was going to come back for our dessert order. Even one of the owners started to wait tables ~ especially after 2 parties of 8 & 6 walked out due to poor service ~ they were ignored, got up and walked out. Our waiter, who was also difficult to understand - never came back and asked us how our meals or cocktails were; but we realized he was super busy having to run upstairs to serve large parties - so we gave him a "pass". It felt as though it was an "opening" night of the restaurant due to all the faux paus of just basic table & food service ~ not a restaurant with 14 years experience!

I ordered a Cosmopolitan and it was so bitterly sour - I had to request sugar in order to "save" the cocktail. The food was good however the Mushroom Risotto was bland and my husband's Salmon was plain and dry. It was perplexing why they would serve a heavy red wine from Sicily to be paired with his Salmon. (We did order off their special "tasting" menu). We finally left at 10pm and aren't sure we would go back.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value4

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Very disappointing dining experience.

My partner and I had been looking forward to checking this place out for a while. We love dining out and do so frequently.

This restaurant was self-described as “upscale”, so we had relatively high expectations going in... b our experience was otherwise.

The ambiance and food were “alright”; however, the service was downright horrible!

It was not particularly busy, yet it took over 20 minutes before the server checked in with us... and that long again before our (unchopped and subpar) salad arrived.

When we finished our salads, the girl who bussed our table removed the used dressing-covered forks and knifes from our plates... and casually tossed them back down onto the tablecloth, getting it all dirty in the process.

Upscale!? I think not.

Our main course was not brought until an *hour and a half* after we first got there, finally coming just as we were about to give up, close out our check, and go home (fortunately, we did not have after dinner plans or our schedule for the evening would have been shot).

While not bad, the food itself was unremarkable. I could easily have made better at home. We are foodies who live in the area, and have enjoyed much tastier, more interesting, and well-presented food (at lower prices) elsewhere in the Bay Area.

Overall, I rate this as an okay place to eat if you are hungry, in the vicinity, and can’t get a table anywhere else...and don’t mind paying for over-priced, ho-hum food.

We will not be returning to this establishment, nor would we recommend it.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

 
·Dined on January 5, 2018

This is the best Tuscan restaurant in the Bay Area. Definitely the warmest most generous owners/hosts. Unparalleled, in my experience.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Good for Birthdays, Organic, Good for Anniversaries, Healthy, Fun, Good for Groups, Tasting Menu, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Both Cheryl and Rudy are excellent hosts . Very friendly staff too!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Sheryl and Rudy always provide amazing food and service! We loved having our New Years
Eve dinner there! The lobster was to die for! This is my favorite place in Alameda!

Tags: Cozy, Late-night Find, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Had an early dinner on New Year's Eve and it was top notch. The service was excellent along with the food. The live band playing was also very good! We will return soon!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Disabled Access, Romantic, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Kid-friendly, Live Music
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Solid traditional Italian menu. So nice to be in a restaurant where music is not blasting. I could have a normal adult conversation without going hoarse or deaf! Really friendly staff. Will definitely go back!

Tags: Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Casual, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 27, 2017

The restaurant was actually closed and no one bothered to let us know.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
·Dined on December 16, 2017

Went there for an office Christmas party, and we had high expectations. They restaurant was gorgeous. Two of my guests ordered the Sea Bass special - both filets contained MANY bones - at least one per bite. When I spoke to the server regarding the issue, she informed me that there is absolutely no way to take all of the bones out of the meat, and the quantity of bones was to be expected. She actually told me to swallow the bones, because that's what she does... Realy!?! We paid $30 a plate for food we could not eat. Two other guests ordered steak that was overcooked and hard to chew. Shrimp was also overcooked and rubbery. Terrible experience overall, and everyone in the office agreed they won't go back.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Excellent service, extensive wine list, and very good traditional pasta dishes. Despite a reservation, we weren't able to be seated for 45 minutes because the couple occupying our intended table wouldn't leave and the restaurant was packed on a Friday evening. The servers were so apologetic and kind about it. They obviously didn't want to be rude to the couple who had overstayed their welcome, and yet they felt badly that we were left waiting in the vestibule for so long. They comped us our first glasses of wine and an appetizer.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Well worth going off the beaten path the entrance is in an alley but the food quality is spectacular so was the service

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on November 12, 2017

The staff was very friendly and efficient. The food quite delicious. We have been to this restaurant many times and will continue to dine here. I highly reccomend C'erea Una Volta.

Tags: Special Occasion, Afternoon Coffee, Great for Brunch, Casual, Quiet Conversation, Fun, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 30, 2017

Ambiance and food were excellent. Service was good, but it took a long time to get entrees. definitely one of our favorites in Alameda!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Delicious, fresh & delightful

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food5
ambience5
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 11, 2017

A small wonder. The food is great and the owner makes sure you leave satisfied.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2017

This is always our "go to" for birthday celebrations and
other special events...even go when there isn't a special date.
Owners and waiters are on site and very friendly. Service excellent too!

Tags: Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 30, 2017

I discovered this quiet Italian restaurant last year based on reviews and had a fabulous meal then. Returned again to meet a friend for dinner last week and the quality of the food had declined. I so wanted to introduce my friend to a hidden, off-the-main-path gem, but alas, not this night. The food was very slow in arriving, and it was unevenly seasoned. The $70 rib eye for two was inconsistent in texture - some pieces too tough to chew, others tender and flavorful.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2017

My wife and I had the dinner for two. It was delicious, and boy was there a lot of food. I had some to take home for lunch the next day. We had a nice bottle of wine ($56) from Italy. We love this place.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Staff was very friendly, welcoming, and attentive throughout out our meal.
The food itself was also very good, we were a table of five, and each of us ordered something different, all were well prepared, and nicely plated. Will definitely return to this restaurant

Tags: Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 8, 2017

We had the Seafood Grill for two.It was fabulous. The Burata was perfect. The vegetables on the platter were wonderful. Definitely would order that again.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Had the tasting menu. Eight small plates, including dessert. Served for two. Excellent food. Also support local charities.

Tags: Healthy, Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Seasonal, Tasting Menu, Pre/post Theatre, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 3, 2017

We went for a nice anniversary dinner all the way from the valley. We had gone to San Luis Obispo a couple of months ago and went to a restaurant out there. The owner recommended this place and let's just say this place is not good. It's not worth your money. Food was basic, the drinks were below average. Not a place I am willing to go too or even close to thinking about going too again.

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food1
ambience2
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 28, 2017

The service and ambience were perfect. We loved the outdoor seating and family personal touch. The proprietor even came out to say hello. The egg pasta dish was wonderful. However, we found the salads to be very small with wilted lettuce. And the salad dressing and main dish of pork chops were both too salty. We really wanted to like this place because the owner is so kind. We may come back to support a neighborhood restaurant but will ask for reduced salt next time.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 27, 2017

Very happy and could not be more pleased. Our waiter had just moved from Italy so it was wonderful to hear him speak and add his authenticity to the experience.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Cozy, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 27, 2017

Came here with a small group for a birthday. 4 people in the party loved their food. 2 did not. The filet mignon was super fatty and stringy, bad quality especially for the price. Shrimp risotto also soggy and tasteless. The tiramisu I am 99% sure was frozen and reheated because it was super watery/soggy and really cold in the middle. Service is incredibly slow. Like 50 minutes for dinner and 35 minutes to bring desert. We were there just over 3 hours. Head waitress was just chatting with another table for 10 minutes when we were trying to catch her attention for refills. Despite being very loud, we loved the ambiance but food and service were not up to par.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food2
ambience5
service2
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Best service! creative delicious food--live music on Friday night!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Cute little place that reminds of something you'd find in Italy. Very attentive service.

Tags: Casual, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 30, 2017

We have been going to C'era Una Volta for awhile however this visit was disappointing because service was slow and two had hear errors (somebody else's order almost was set down for us).

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 22, 2017

I was disappointed specifically with the "pork ribs" which turned out to be pork chops. They were dry, with very little sauce. The beet salad was good, but with very little dressing. I was not impressed, and would not go back.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 19, 2017

Jasmine our server was delightful and very accommodating. We went for our 7th wedding anniversary and the meal did not disappoint. We'll be back.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 6, 2017

Love the home made pasta but the servers were seriously inattentive.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service1
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 1, 2017

As New Yorkers and Italy lovers, we find this place genuine and pleasant. Always return.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 22, 2017

Once again, another fantastic and memorable experience, for my birthday. We love the food and service, treated like family by Cheryl, as soon as we walk in the door. The Cacciouco and Branzino were awesome, favorites we keep coming back for.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Outdoor Dining, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 18, 2017

Service was very poor. Food tasted bland. We have to look for the waitress to ask for the bill. However, the hostess was the friendly.

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food2
ambience3
service1

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on June 18, 2017

We met our parents here for a Father's Day lunch. It was a fabulous find, and we were not disappointed. Situated off a main street, C'Era Una Volta sits alongside an alley and greets you with a small outdoor sitting area, live plants and flowers. Immediately, you feel like you're in Italy. Wait staff were very friendly and attentive. The food was delicious and authentic; perfectly flavored and prepared. Live music played softly in the background adding to the comfortable ambience. It was an unusually warm day, and it seemed the air conditioning wasn't on, which only further reminded us of past European dining experiences. The temperature could have been a distraction for some, however, for us the warm temperature while dining transported us to another time and provoked reminiscent conversation amongst our family members. We would recommend this restaurant to anyone, couples and families alike.

Tags: Business Meals, Live Music, Casual, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 17, 2017

Had hoped to love this place but was disappointed in the food. My friend had the best dish, which was the chicken cacciatiore with polenta and grilled veggies. The polenta was indeed delish. I had the pasta with meat sauce. Very little flavor. Very very little meat. There's a side order of Rudy's bread served with mustard. The mustard appeared to have olive oil in it. Unusual dish and not a hit with us, altho the bread was fresh and good.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Authentic
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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 17, 2017

An ok restaurant. A somewhat clueless staff when we dined. Our waiter was terrible and we wondered if he was a relative or just new to still be working there. Food was decent, but they were out of the first main dish/non pasta item on their menu (the eggplant) at 5:30 on a Saturday which made no sense. Place was loud with two parties happening while we dined and live music was about to start which would have made conversation impossible.

Tags: Tasting Menu
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food3
ambience2
service1
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 16, 2017

Disappointed with the food. They advertised as their special a whole branzino that is filleted for us. Never saw the fish, but instead they brought a plate of small pieces of branzino piled up on one another. Clearly the kitchen does not know how to filet a fish. And all this for $28 a plate.

Also pasta was not al dente. A major failure for a restaurant that bills itself as an Italian trattoria.

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food2
ambience4
service1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 15, 2017

The wait staff was very attentive. The waitress gave us a sample of the house wines before ordering a glass. We had an early dinner reservation for 5:00 pm and we were the only patrons inside. We were seated at a nice table in an alcove that afforded a bit of privacy. The roasted eggplant parmigiana with roasted vegetables was substantial (i am not a vegetarian, but I liked that the eggplant was not deep fried) . The burrata with tomatoes, arugula, and balsamic vinegar, served with warm bread was excellent.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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