When seated at a plush corner booth near a guitarist’s soothing music, it’s easy to fall under the spell of what has become almost quaint—a fine-dining experience. Venerable Postino, with its aged brick and ivy-covered facade that evokes a country villa, isn’t inherently formal. Flatbreads and pasta come from an open kitchen, and multiple spots—including a bar and lounge, two fireplaces, and an outdoor terrace—offer varying levels of decorousness. But the modern California-Italian style is as elegant as it’s ever been. Fanned duck breast and crisp duck leg confit came with a foie gras–enriched sauce. Sole rolled into a timbale was arranged over colorful risotto dotted with fruit and nuts. And a simple roasted carrot salad was phenomenal spiked with toasted cumin, oranges, and delicate watercress. In short, Postino’s timelessness makes it a worthy destination.
3565 Mt. Diablo Blvd., (925) 299-8700, postinorestaurant.com. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily.