Raviolis next door to Comal? Belli opening up [Berkeley]
From Sept 2012 Diablo Valley News - Anyone heard anything else about this place? Apologize if someone else posted something, but I couldn't remember seeing anything about it before, and nothing showed up in a quick search.
"Paul Oprescu of Belli, who told me (columnist Ethan Fletcher) his new ravioli-centric restaurant was well under way and on pace to open next to Comal by October 16. Oprescu and business partner Damien Morrison have been busy, building out the restaurant using reclaimed materials including wood sourced from a high school in Kansas City and a barn in Ohio. They're currently hiring and Oprescu said he has been playing around with a pasta machine he just got imported from Italy. "I've been in heaven the last few days," he laughed.
Oprescu said he plans to just open for dinner to start, then phase in lunch a couple months later. As a reminder, the concept for Belli is an affordable but foodie-focused Italian restaurant in which all the pasta is made in-house with a heavy emphasis on raviolis—Oprescu plans to rotate more than 100 different types of ravs onto the menu. "I want to be to raviolis what Pizzaiolo was to pizza."
It was open Sun 10/14/12 when I walked by during Sunday Streets, I took 2 pics below.
Grand opening Tues 10/16/12 starting 5:30pm
Crostini w/ grilled aubergine w/ honey, smoked chili & meyer lemon $6
steak sandwich w/ smoked chili aioli & arugula $8
pork belly sandwich w/ caramelized figs $8
american cured ham & cheese board $10
wild mushroom & pork sausage spaghetti $12
pappardelle w/ chicken liver $12
panna cotta w/ strawberry gelee $6
pumpkin & butternut squash mousse $7
White win Glass $6-8; bottle $24-32
Proseco Adami 8/32
Espresso, Americano 2
Red wine $5-8/20-32
Soft drinks $3
San Pellegrino 3/4
Aranciata Rossa $2
Walked in around 6:30 and got the last two-top.
I had a great warm salad of kale, Brussels sprouts, baby favas, not sure what else. Tasted a fantastic bean soup with guanciale and rosemary. Also had an appetizer of warm olives, very nice.
I had ravioli (ravioloni, really, they were huge) filled with lamb, also fantastic. Tasted another version with squid-ink pasta stuffed with salmon, nice though a bit bland by comparison with the lamb.
The servings were generous so didn't really need more but everything was so good we split a porchetta entree. Nice flavor, good crunchy crackling.
The food really reminded me of eating in Italy. The server said the sous chef is from Genoa and has a lot of influence on the menu. Very reasonable prices.
re: Robert Lauriston
i went a couple of weeks ago. I'll be back.
Food was very good (2 starters, 2 pastas) - my only comment to the contrary is that my ravioli portion seemed quite lacking (and I am not talking about Olive Garden comparisons), while my dining companion's pasta dish was much more substantial (at the same price point).