Wood-topped tables, blown-glass pendants and Cal Ital cuisine set a decidedly cool (but nonetheless cozy) mood at
Formerly a floral shop, this restaurant and wine bar has Italian roots and a NorCal sensibility. It's a reflection of the discerning, yet still neighborly tastes of husband-and-wife duo Chris Shepherd (executive chef) and Elizabeth Frumusa. Bellanico's rustic mood is akin to that of Aperto in San Francisco (the couple's other establishment) and the name pays homage to their daughter's nicknames. Shepherd and Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Luce, formerly of Pearl's Oyster Bar, serves generously portioned entrées that change seasonally. Items like swiss chard Malfatti pasta with browned butter and sage, risotto with black mission figs and gorgonzola and wild-caught albacore are lovingly prepared from local, sustainable ingredients. Also notable? The dessert menu, which can swing from light to decadent on a dime: Expect such treats as saffron panna cotta, served in a high-ball glass and topped with peeled orange slices, and warm chocolate date cake with vanilla bean gelato.