Alameda >Food & Dining > C'era Una Volta Italian Restaurant
1332 Park St Ste D, Alameda, CA | Directions 9450137.763048 -122.242965
5:30pm-8pm: Tues & Wed
10am-10pm: Thurs, Fri, Sat
9am - 8pm: Sundays
Yummmmmmmm! – Still the best Italian food in the Bay Area. I have been a faithful patron since their doors opened and I am never disappointed. The service is top notch and the staff is friendly. Nothing but big love for this place.
C'Era Una Volta Italian Food is a Foodies Dream – C'era Una Volta's Italian food was a meal to die for. The food sumptuous and well plated (big points on presentation here) and the suggested Italian wines were as the sommelier said, "luscious."
Our appetizer was a selection of cheeses served with a ramican of honey. First yum. Our salads were nice and crisp but just salad, but the pastas were eye opening. Penne Arabiatta with a well balanced piquantness and not to spicy finish and a truffle gnocchi. O-M-G! The smell of the truffle almost kept me from taking a fork full. Simply amazing and oh so rich and yummy. We (wisely) decided to share the Florentine steak. Another OMG. Dripped in more truffle oil, I think, or maybe olive oil?? I can't remember which, but it was lightly covered with mushrooms and the smell preceded it by a full ten feet wehn I saw the waiter approaching with it. Perfect on the plate. I was eyeballs to the crown moulding with every bite! And yes, we finished it all! Hahahaa!
The mere thought of desert was a "no-go" after that orgasmic feast. I so wanted to have an espresso just for the smell of it afterward, but we thought better of it deciding a walk and fresh air down Park Street would be a better digester.
This little Italian restaurant gets my vote for and a return trip soon!
The Little Italy of Alameda – Wow. This place comes highly recommended by me for so many different reasons. Step inside these doors and you will immediately be transported back to your trip to Italy. The decor is all warm and welcoming, calm and comfortable. We went here on a surpisingly busy for a Wednesday night and our server was not only probably one of the handsomest guys I know, but also had an Italian accent that was just TO DIE FOR. My date was immediately on his best behavior :-)
If you come here, please order wine and ASK FOR A RECOMMENDATION because they ALWAYS have one AND do not pass the desserts up. Our server told us that many of the desserts are imported, but a number are also made in house by their dessert chef who does a rasberry creme brulee that has no compare.
I have decided to propose marriage to the chef on my next visit, but even if he refuses in his thick Italian accent, I will wish only to have the rest of all my meals cooked by him. Try the gnocchi!
Horrid Experience – When looking for a place on Park Street to have dinner before heading to a play, my boyfriend and I stopped into C'era Una Volta looking for some authentic Italian food/ambiance. Perhaps I'm biased, having recently returned from Florence, but I have never had a worse experience at a restaurant. The hostess took 5 minutes to even acknowledge our presence, placed us in the table directly in the doorway--after self-importantly perusing a computer screen--even though only 4 tables were occupied (6 by the time we left, which meant the restaurant was still half-empty), and was shockingly brusque and unpleasant.
Our waiter was attentive, but the restaurant was out of the first bottle of wine we requested, so we went with glasses instead. My 2003 red was lovely, but my boyfriend's chianti tasted like the bottle had been open for a week. We ordered a salad with walnuts and blue cheese, and two pasta dishes: pappardelle bolognaise and a special white truffle gnocci. The salad differed from one you'd find at a diner only in terms of blue cheese and walnuts (who puts tomatoes and carrots on that salad? honestly!), and though my pasta dish was passable in taste, it had clearly been sitting under a heat lamp for at least 10 minutes before I received it. The pappardelle was undercooked (and I like my pasta quite al dente) and the sauce tasted like the chef boy-ar-dee I remember from when I was 5.
Our bill for the meal was $60, which, considering the service and food, was about 3 times as much as I'd be willing to pay.
If you want good Italian food and service where they're friendly and attentive but not trying to turn tables over, check out Zza's in Oakland or check out a slightly funkier restaurant over by Grand called Spettro's. Please don't go to C'era Una Volta.
Best Italian – I brought my mother here for Mother's Day and it was perfect! The food was top notch, the service was friendly and the atmospher was very inviting. Mom's pork loin was very tender and flavorful and my gnocchi in gorgonzola was creamy and rich. While our server did forget to bring my mom's side salad it was understandable given that it was Mother's Day and very busy. The warm colors invite you to stay all day and drink coffee. I will definately be returning many times.
great authentic Italian – C'era Una Volta is the best Italian food in Alameda- period. Mind you, it's authentic Italian food- simple and rustic. You'll find no americanized spaghetti with meatballs or doughy pizzas with many toppings and a ton of cheese here. Instead you'll find excellent eggplant parmesan, moist fish, flavorful pasta, a great Italian wine list and excellent cappucino for a good price. It has been fresh and delicious every time I have gone and highly recommend it.
Atmosphere is open and airy but warm and inviting. Artwork is rotated so you always have something new to look at. Also, servers are friendly and attentive. The only thing to watch out for is finding the place (down an alley or so called "square") and the hours they're open (not for dinner on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday).
Best Italian Restaurant in Alameda – Excellent food, friendly staff. Whichever of the three partners happens to be in will always stop by to greet you at your table.
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