Donato & Co.: Elmwood

Supposed to open this month in the former Advocate space.

Opening party Friday Oct. 6:


They opened Thursday. I was worried when Opentable had tables open all evening, but when we got there at 8:00 all the tables were full and we had to wait at the bar for a few minutes. The Grillo and Semidano (not sure I’ve had that grape before) were both very nice.

I don’t know why they’re calling these pizzelle, I’d call them pizzette. Tasty but hard to share since the crust is sort of chewy/stretchy. Would be nice to have a pair of scissors.

“Sotto terra” salad in frico. Both elements were excellent but putting them together didn’t make sense to me since the frico got soggy. Only minor off note of the meal.

Very nice salumi plate: strongly smoked duck breast, rosemary porchetta, earthy bresaola, excellent pickles.

Pizzoccheri ravioli: the traditional dish turned inside-out, buckwheat pasta stuffed with potato, greens, and cheese. Really, really good. That pasta’s hard to work with, I’m guessing they had to experiment for a while to get it to stick together. Given all the other stuff we ordered, we could have gotten by with a half order.

Mixed grill with pork belly with nice crisp skin, rib chop, sausage, and Treviso with a ragout of beans and chard, great dish.

Risotto with braised oxtail, minor variation on the classic with ossobuco. Very good for a shortcut version. Could have gotten by with a half order of this as well.

Lavender semifreddo ($9), excellent, correct texture. The crisp-candied lemon slice was a nice foil.

Montebianco ($9) served as a sundae, very good, not too sweet.

Great meal. The bottle of Bovalo we ordered took a while to show up, other than that everything was pretty smooth, especially for their third night. This is their fourth place, after Donato Enoteca and Cru in Redwood City and Desco in Oakland, and both chefs were on hand. The prices are quite reasonable for the quality and atmosphere.