Italian cuisine was born when, after building the city of Rome, Romulus and Remus discovered Greece didn't deliver to their new address. Taste the origins of an empire with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at The New Ristorante Forli in Alamo.
The New Ristorante Forli's proprietors, Gabriele Davanzante and Russ Belleci, conduct a culinary orchestra of northern and southern Italian cuisine that strikes chords with both Gabriele's native Puglia and Russ's Italian-American heritage. Elegant wall sconces tucked into romantic brick alcoves shed light onto a lengthy dinner menu of centuries-old recipes. Artichokes and mushrooms partially shelter the veal in the scaloppine di vitello from a shower of marsala sauce ($24), and the rack of lamb Forli carries its flavoring closer to the bone, infused with traditional Italian seasonings of rosemary, garlic, and extra vowels ($26). Fusilli, spaghetti, and penne rigati roll up in gluten-free as well as traditional gluten-only varieties, ready to be smothered in pancetta, garlic, prawns, and artichokes (pasta $14–$23). White tablecloths and crimson napkins tucked into goblets usher diners into an eatery that Alive East Bay magazine praised for its "good food, excellent service, ambiance and friendliness." In his role as wine consultant, passionate wine collector Barron Clancy pours 30 varieties by the glass ($6.50+) and 70 bottles into a wine list sourced exclusively from California, Italy, and sustainable offshore champagne wells.
The New Ristorante Forli
Linger at one of The New Ristorante Forli's tables long enough, and owners Gabriele Davanzante or Russ Belleci might sidle up to the table to tell a joke or spontaneously burst into an Old Italian song. Flourishes like these imbue The New Ristorante Forli with the aura of a traditional Italian trattoria. In addition to a pair of jovial Italian hosts, The New Ristorante Forli cements its status as a cultural bastion by plating classic dishes such as osso bucco and braised lamb shank. Tuscan chianti and California pinot grigio punctuate the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Additionally, dining companions can cast aside games of napkin peek-a-boo and dance to live music on Friday and Saturday nights.