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“A very European (Italian) experience, in the best sense”
Review of Bellanico

Bellanico
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Ranked #17 of 1,438 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 30 - USD 50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Wellington
Transit: AC Transit #18
Reviewed 10 April 2018

We really enjoyed the weekly tasting menu at the pan-Italian charmer Bellanico on a busy Saturday night. It was clear from the happy diners at tables near ours that their enjoyment was equal to ours. Both my partner and I went for the $40, four-course menu and $18 wine pairing, and everything was tasty. In particular she liked the lumache and mussels (note to Italian speakers – in this case lumache are not snails literally, but tube pasta shaped to resemble snails), and our flank steak was delicious and cooked as ordered. The dessert was a perfect salted caramel panna cotta, perhaps not a traditional dish but delish nonetheless. The wines were very good and went well with the dishes. They hailed from Spain, France and of course Italy. My only knock would be that the noise level was a bit elevated (as in many restaurants in Italy, Bellanico is all hard surfaces that reflect and even amplify the sound) and the tables, European-style, were quite close together. I imagine a weekday dinner would be a bit less hectic. Still, it was a delight, and service was tops.

Date of visit: April 2018
Thank Geonev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 10 of 128 reviews

Reviewed 17 February 2018

Four of us went for dinner and ordered a wide variety of dishes. One of us thoroughly enjoyed her food, another didn't say much, and two of us were a little disappointed.
Cauliflower fritters were mashed rather than florets and the texture and mouth feel were not very exciting. The potato gnocchi was very good, as was the little gems and baby kale salad. Farro, arugula, hazelnut dish was good but also had a very soft texture. The stinging nettles risotto was good, if a little salty, and very rich and couldn't be finished by the one who ordered it. The tagliolini pepati with roasted tomato sauce, smoked bacon, jalapenos and arugula was spicy enough but too sweet with tomatoes tasting as though they were canned. Desserts included affogato - gelato, brownie, caramel, whipped cream and espresso - was very good, as was the warm chocolate, hazelnut, date pudding cake. The bombolino - Florentine doughnuts - were tasty on the insides, much like beignet, but slightly burned when deep fried, giving them a rather bitter taste. Server was attentive at the beginning of the meal, but we waited fifteen minutes to order dessert and another fifteen to get our check. Two of us will return to Bellanico and two of us will probably not. Dinner for four with a $50 bottle of Piemonte Elso red wine came to $300 with tip included.

Date of visit: February 2018
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Thank namsmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2018

Malfatti malfatti malfatti. OK there are other good things here but we ALWAYS order the malfatti. One large order split between two is perfect, as they are rather rich. Nice atmosphere, noise level is reasonable (4 people can hold a conversation). Menu is not run-of-the-mill, wine flights are a great way to taste different good wines up against each other. Save room for dessert! Service is good, not amazing; the host(ess) is not always very friendly.

Date of visit: January 2018
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Thank CAGreens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2017

Following a choral performance nearby, we decided to have an early dinner here on a Sunday evening. We had seen an encore review of Bellanico on "Check, Please Bay Area" restaurant review show on our local PBS station. It is even better than the reviews!

We both ordered from the dinner tasting menu, with one of us a vegetarian and the other a devoted omnivore. Bellanico accommodates both.
So here's our dinner review: I do not care for cauliflower - - that is until I tasted the light as a feather, piping-hot cauliflower fritters with a lemon-caper aglioli as one of the appetizers. OMG! It was just about the best thing we had. Tombo tuna crudo was ordered as the second appetizers. For the primi, one of us had the burrata (creamy smooth with fig and olive jam) and the other had the braised beef sugo. For the secondi, even though I swear I don't care for swiss chard, as the main ingredient in the malfatti, it absolutely shined. The other secondi was a red wine braised short rib with polenta. For dessert we both had the Chenel goat cheese cheesecake.
Everything was beautifully presented and the portions were just right. Everything was perfectly cooked and looked so appetizing that we ate every single morsel - really, we did.

We had some questions about the wine, about some of the food and all questions were answered completely and pleasantly.
We noticed that the place filled up with singles, families with children, and couples. We felt like we were back in Italy down a side street at a local eatery in a lovely, walkable neighborhood. We couldn't have been more pleased.

We will be back!

Date of visit: November 2017
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Thank WestCoastCalGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2017

Bellanico is only a couple of blocks from our home and we feel so fortunate to have it so nearby! The most fun thing is that they have FABULOUS appetizers! They are creative and different and always delicious! The wine selection is very good.......and my husband is quite knowledgeable. The staff is smart and friendly. We recently moved to Oakland from San Francisco, and we often meet friends here when they come from out of town (SF, Seattle, or Kansas City) and they always like it!

Date of visit: September 2017
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Thank Maria Elena H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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