If passion is the key to Italian cooking, then Agrodolce—an affordable restaurant whose back wall becomes a screen for scintillating black-and-white Fellini movies—must reflect the East Bay’s most sizzling Sicilian. Chef-owner Angelo D’Alo and his 72-year-old mama, Rosa, turn out hearty and homey main courses, such as roasted pork shoulder with rosemary, as well as hearty pastas with braised lamb ragu or rustic vegetables. But it all starts with warm bread and Rosa’s devilishly good garlic oil (a signature at the D’Alos’ Trattoria La Siciliana on College Avenue). Skip the fried calamari, and get bold with the octopus-and-potato salad or the black-ink risotto with baby octopus, mint, and sea urchin. Brick makes a perfect container for the split dining room, which features a welcoming wine-wall entryway: A bottle is a necessary purchase for a truly passionate experience. 1730 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 848-8748, agrodolceberkeley.com. Dinner Wed.–Mon.
Food + Drink Guide
- The East Bay is home to an award-winning food scene full or restaurants thriving with character.