Centouno Now Open in Oakland’s Jack London Square Neighborhood

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Centouno, now open in Oakland’s Jack London Square neighborhood, provides the East Bay with an intriguing new dining option. Fabio Dalle Vacche presents Italian comfort food in a small plate and family style format and attractively priced.

Dalle Vacche’s culinary career, inspired by time spent at his family’s trattoria, located outside of Parma, Italy, includes the opening of Borgo Italia in Old Oakland and consulting for restaurants in New York City. His mother, Luigina, has come in to work on the Centouno debut menu and to help create a homey setting that is evocative of the feel of her own kitchen in Italy.

The opening menu is simple and approachable and affords diners fresh pasta and meat options. It includes such dishes as the torta fritta (aka gnocchi fritto); tigelle served with cured meats or cheeses; housemade potato gnocchi with a traditional Pesto Genovese; and fresh taglietelle with Luigina’s Ragu al Bolognese. One of the large plates is Bistecca alla Fiorentina (a T-bone steak, cooked to order, large enough for two). For dessert, diners can enjoy Frittelle di Miele (lightly coated, deep fried apple rings with a touch of sugar) or Sorbetto al Limone (a refreshing lemon sorbet).

The Centouno wine list has Italian along with California and New World selections, all of which are offered by the glass. Guests can also order a carafe of Centouno Vino della Casa Leggero (a light house red) or Vino Casa Corposo (full bodied house red) both produced locally. There are several beers on tap, including ones from Centouno’s neighbor, Linden Street Brewery.

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The restaurant has seating for over 100 and highlights of the dining room’s rustic Old World Italian inspired décor include reclaimed barn wood accents, panels and facings; earth tone hues; an exhibition kitchen; wood-topped tables and bar; booths with banquette seating; a community table; a mirrored bar back; antique farm tools and kitchenware accent pieces; an exposed wood beam ceiling; farm style chandeliers and suspended spot lights over the bar; and a marble tile floor. The building housing Centouno is an historic structure erected in 1909 and a portion of the original brickwork remains. Once known as the Overland House because it was the venue where travelers completed their overland journey before setting sail on the Pacific, is was also a favorite haunt of author Jack London. Contemporary touches from a more recent establishment are the work of famed restaurant designer Pat Kuleto. An attractively appointed private dining room with seating for up to 22 people will has audiovisual capabilities and Wi-Fi.

Centouno is located at 101 Broadway, at the Embarcadero, in Oakland, California. The restaurant is open daily from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Neighborhood street parking is readily available, plus there is a pay lot directly across the street. Reservations are recommended (required for 8 or more) and can be made via OpenTable. The telephone number is (510) 433-5030. Visit Centouno on the web at www.centouno101.com.