We have enjoyed going to Jack London Square in Oakland for many years and have seen dramatic changes which has brought growth in both housing and businesses to this beautiful waterfront area. The Historic Overland House building at the corner Broadway and Embarcadero has seen most of the changes, as it was built in 1909. Centouno 101 Taverna Italiana which serves Italian Comfort Food is its newest tenant. The restaurant’s interior features rustic Old World Italian inspired décor which is so charming and comfortable. We loved the Italian atmosphere with its festive red checked tablecloths and an Exhibition Kitchen where you can see your meal being created. Reclaimed wood adds to the warmth as do the comfortable booths and the large bar.
The menu created by Restaurateur/ Chef Fabio Dalla Vacche who grew up working at his family’s Trattoria in Parma, Italy then honed his culinary skills in New York City and recently moved to the Bay Area is straight forward Italian. The fact that his mom is assisting with the cooking makes the cuisine truly authentic and Food from the Heart!
We started our meal with their Torta Fritta Con Salumi Antipasti which featured delicious Fried Dough, Cured Prosciutto Di Parma and Salami. This is a great way to begin your meal! The prosciutto was so light and the fried dough was yummy with it. We chose to eat each individually but it is traditional to make a small sandwich. Next, we enjoyed the Insalada Caesar with romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, house made croutons and Parmesan Reggiano. The anchovy paste based dressing truly made this a memorable salad and a “must have” when we return. All of the Pasta is house made. We loved the homemade Gnocchi Al Pesto which was a potato and beet gnocchi with pesto Genovese and Parmigiano. This was a sizeable family style serving.
Our Entrees were both delicious as well. The Bistecca alla Fiorentina- Grilled 2.2 pound T-Bone Steak for two was gorgeous, quite large and was prepared rare as ordered. A better steak would be hard to find… at this reasonable price. The Osso Buco Braised Cross Cut Beef Shank entrée which cooks for 11 hours melts in your mouth!
The Wine List features both Italian and California wines. We opted to drink all Italian wines. When in Rome… do as the Romans! We enjoyed the Drusian Valdobbiadene Prosecco (Brut) which paired perfectly with the Antipasti, the Castelcerino/Filippi Soave dry white wine which paired well with pasta and the Marcelle Clara Montepulciano bold and rich red wine which paired perfectly with our entrees.
As ever we saved room for Dolce Dessert. We loved the house made Frittelle Di Mele which was Fried Apples. A glass of Sori Del Re Moscato D’Asti dessert wine added a little sweetness to the finish our meal.
Centouno 101 Taverna Italiana is open for dinner nightly, lunch weekdays and brunch on the weekend. The Italian Comfort Food at reasonable prices created by Restaurateur/ Chef Fabio Dalla Vacche and his family was delicious. The service was friendly and professional and we look forward to returning again soon!
Carol & Joe Davis
Centouno 101 Taverna Italiana
Jack London Square
Oakland, CA. 94607
Taverna Room for Private Parties