Borgo Italia Now Open in Old Oakland


Borgo Italia is now open in Old Oakland, providing the East Bay with a new dining option showcasing authentic regional Italian cuisine (especially from Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, and Toscana). The on-site team includes Chef Franco Camboli and General Manager Fabio Dalle Vacche, who have received support from investor and entrepreneur Paul Ferrari. The word borgo translates to village, reflecting the restaurant’s welcoming nature and approachable menu. The location was previously home to B Restaurant.

The debut Borgo Italia dinner menu includes antipasti and primi such as Torta Fritta Emiliana (puffy fried dough with salumi), Gnocchi alla Ligure (potato gnocchi with basil pesto), Tagliatelle di Castagne (chestnut flour tagliatelle, Speck, pine nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese) and Tortelli alla Parmigiana (ricotta, Swiss chard, sage and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese-filled tortelli). Among the secondi are Zuppa di Pesce (clams, mussels, squid, shrimp, tomato, onion, garlic and peperoncino), Involtini Gina con Peperonata (sautéed veal medallions and stewed peppers), Brasato di Manzo (red wine braised beef and vegetables), and Spezzatino (veal stew with white wine and tomato). All fresh pasta is made in-house. For dessert, diners can enjoy Millefoglie (flaky layered puff pastry with cream), Ciambella Latte Miele (pastry with milk and honey) and Panna Cotta.

Not to be missed is Borgo Italia’s morning Italian coffee, pastry and light fare, available to enjoy on the premises or to go, plus the diverse and quickly prepared lunch menu. Equally notable are the restaurant’s Neapolitan pizzas prepared in a wood-fired oven, plus their salumi and formaggi.

The wine list at Borgo Italia is comprised entirely of classic Italian varietals, with 35 selections, about half of which are poured by the glass. The full bar showcases classic, contemporary and signature cocktails plus aperitivi and digestivi.

Chef Camboli, a native of Tuscany, grew up working in his parent’s bakery, becoming one of Italy’s foremost pastry chefs. He subsequently also became a certified sommelier (3rd level), and then consulted for Italian restaurants in California based on his expertise pairing regional wines and food. Dalle Vacche’s career, inspired by time spent at his family’s trattoria located in Borgotaro, includes consulting for restaurants in New York City. His mother, Luigina, has joined him at Borgo Italia to help ensure a quality dining experience. Ferrari is the President of A.G. Ferrari Foods, an East Bay-based Italian focused retailer started by his grandfather in 1919. His taking over the family business was the culmination of an ongoing quest to source and import Italy’s finest regional artisan foods.

The comfortable, old-world feel of the dining room at Borgo Italia evokes a 1940s Italian caffé. Some of the antique wooden furnishings and wall decorations were brought from Ferrari’s grandfather’s hometown, Borgotaro. The majority of chairs and tables come from the Dalle Vacche family trattoria and the chandeliers from their ancestral home. Repurposed old cart wheels that date back to the Mussolini era now serve as light fixtures. The building housing Borgo Italia is an historic structure erected in 1876 and a portion of the restaurant’s mosaic and tile flooring has been in place for the better part of a century.

Borgo Italia is located at 499 9th Street, on the corner of Washington Street in Oakland, California. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. An adjacent private lot and neighborhood streets provide accessible parking options. The telephone number is (510) 251-1008 and the web address is www.borgoitaliaoakland.com.