Right on the corner of Main Street and Vintage Parkway, across the street from the Oakley Police Department and City Hall, lies a wonderful little Italian restaurant called Buon Appetito. This is definitely one of the best restaurants in Oakley, and by far the best one for traditional Italian-style meals. From the moment I walked in to through the front doors, I knew I was in for an unforgettable dining experience.
I was immediately greeted at the door and told to find a table anywhere in the restaurant, and that my server would be with me shortly. I chose a table by the window, which granted a wonderful view of City Hall and Civic Center Park. I had barely taken my seat when my server arrived. She greeted me to the restaurant, poured water, and delivered a plate of soft, fresh bread with a small dish filled with a tomato-based spread that was light, a little bit sweet, and very, very good.
My First Impression
After ordering a glass of wine to start, I took a look around the dining room. Besides the table I was at, there were only two other customers at the time. I had arrived at just before six o'clock, luckily, with hardly anyone there, I was able to get a few pictures, as well as sneak upstairs to see the banquet room. The upstairs room was very spacious, had its own fully stocked bar, and access to an outdoor patio as well.
The entire facility was beautifully decorated with dark cherry furniture, crisp white linens, and earth-tone walls. There are murals and paintings throughout, and several large displays filled with bottle after bottle of wine! The music is mostly Italian songs (a lot of which I recall from the Godfather movie series) but it was not too loud and definitely helped set the atmosphere.
The Appetizer Course
After sneaking around a bit, I returned to my table. My server showed up fairly soon after that (I think she knew about the sneaky tour I took) and brought the wine I ordered. She also took my appetizer order. For this course, I wanted to try a few things. First, I ordered the Bruschetta di Pomodoro, which is simply toasted bread, topped with diced tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. The black olive on top of each slice was a nice touch, though I should have known they would still have their pits inside.
Next, I asked for a cup of the Minestrone di Verdura, which is a vegetable soup and made with vegetable broth. For those on restrictive diets, there is no animal products used, and they don’t add any gluten products either. Though I found the soup to be just a bit on the salty side, it was still very good, and served at a perfect temperature.
Finally, I ordered the Insalata Estiva, which is a salad of arugula served over roasted red and yellow beets, dressed with red wine vinegar and olive oil. The beets were perfect – not too soft; and the arugula was fresh, bright green, and crisp, with just the right amount of dressing.
Getting to the Main Course
For the main course, the restaurant offers a wide range of pasta entrees, as well as Paninis (on the lunch menu only), Pizzas, and Meat/Fish/Poutry dishes as well. For my selection, I went with the Linguine ai Frutti di Mare, which was wonderful. This dish, made with the wide, flat linguine noodles, along with fresh clams, mussels, scallops, prawns, calamari, and fresh garlic, is served with a lobster tomato sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish and will most likely order it again in the future, although, there are so many other dishes I wanted to try that it may be a while before I come back around to this one.
Options for Restrictive Diets
Though there was no mention on the menu of options for those on restrictive diets, which most restaurants are doing these days due to the high number of food allergies, I did ask if any of the dishes could be made either gluten-free, or vegetarian/vegan/dairy-free. My server did mention that any of the pastas could be substituted for a rotini-style noodle that is gluten-free, but they had no alternative products for substitution of dairy and or meat. Of course, it would always be possible to ask for a certain ingredient to be left off the dish, I would have liked to have seen more options for patrons with restrictive diets.
I have to give this restaurant a top-notch, fabulous overall score! The wait staff was very friendly and knowledgeable about the products they serve and were attentive throughout our visit. The menu is diverse, including some complex dishes, and the dishes I selected that night were well prepared. I wish I had had room for dessert, as that menu was just as diverse, with offerings such as tiramisu, gelati, spumoni, tortas, and more!
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3070 Main Street,
Oakley, CA 94561