Dining out spares people from using up the last of their paper plates or incinerating the last of their paper ovens. Reduce your disposable-cookware footprint with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Italian cuisine plus two glasses of house wine (a $14 value) at Chianti Cucina in Novato.
Chianti Cucina doles out innovative eats in a recently revamped interior and was praised by the Marin Independent Journal for its expertise in Italian cuisine. Diners can impress companions by swishing or juggling two glasses of house white or red wine accompanying the menu's vegetarian pizza—grilled eggplant, roasted peppers, artichokes, and goat cheese on a pesto-frosted crust ($12.95). Coax open hesitant jaws with a jumble of fresh and chopped clams tumbling through the linguine vongole's swells of olive oil, garlic, and wine ($15.95). House-made recipes instruct chefs assembling the vitello saltimbocca's patchwork of veal medallions, provolone cheese, and prosciutto ($22.95).
Live late-night jazz notes float across crisp white linens set in stark contrast against rich wooden shelves of wine. A cozy brick fireplace anchors a dining area flecked with Italian décor and a set-apart rough-hewn wooden table fit for larger herds of diners or full-contact plate hockey.
Chianti Cucina sees its creators pooling their varied talents together for an elegant dining experience. One of those talents just happens to be interior design, courtesy of part-owner Bonnie Robertson. The dining room exudes warmth, thanks to her vision of a floor-to-ceiling wine rack, community-table seating, and large mirrors framed with wood rescued from a Montana barn. Her husband Mark, who owned a restaurant in his native South Africa, also makes the restaurant tick. Together, the duo has established a welcoming dining space that boasts a menu of classic Italian favorites, some innovative newcomers, and a bold selection of bright, juicy wines—all available every day of the week.