New: Benvenuti Ristorante
Photography by Shayla B // yelp.com
With a name that means “everyone is welcome” in Italian, Benvenuti is the revamped version of Salvatore Ristorante, a classic Walnut Creek trattoria that closed last July to undergo an extensive renovation. Chef Salvatore Piccione has retired, but his sister Angela Alagna, who has been greeting customers since the original restaurant opened more than two decades ago, has stayed true to his spirit. The most popular dishes from Salvatore, such as meat lasagna and potato gnocchi, remain on the menu, and nearly all the pastas are still made in-house. But there’s a move toward seasonality, as demonstrated by our appetizers of roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts, and grilled artichokes with pesto. Dinner started with warm and crispy Acme bread, and then moved on to hearty dishes, such as melanzana ripieno—a roasted eggplant stuffed with ground veal and sausage—and pappardelle with plump meatballs. Exposed wood floors, a gleaming bar, and casual bistrolike touches have made Benvenuti even more inviting, but it’s Alagna and son Giuseppe’s genuine warmth that set the hospitable tone.
1627 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, (925) 932-2828, benvenutiwc.com. Dinner Tues.–Sun.