Here in the Bay Area, we have tons of restaurants famous for their artisanal pasta. But even among them, ravioli tends to get the the dry end of the spoon.
Enter Belli, now celebrating these underappreciated envelopes of pasta from their space next to Comal on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley.
It's serious food served casually atop a mix of two- and four-tops surrounding a pair of giant communal tables, all made by the chef and his graphic designer brother from reclaimed pine bleachers.
We like to think of them as the Super Mario Bros of Northern Italian cuisine, here to save the day with delicious, seasonal ravioli instead of supersized mushrooms (although they are planning on rolling out a delicious-sounding funghi ravioli).
A trio of tastebud-pleasing pasta triangles anchors the menu (ravioli with caramelized mission figs, pork confit, and gorgonzola in brown butter). Make your ravioli the main event, or enjoy it as a shared appetizer before moving on to the more adventurous pappardelle with octopus ragu.
Either way, you'll leave fueled up and ready to save the princess. Or at least meet one.
Price: 2 (out of 4)
Specialties: Seasonal ravioli; butter-poached oysters; ragu bolognese
Coming soon: The chef looks forward to integrating housemade charcuterie as well as more adventurous dining options (think pig's trotters) into the menu.
Hot seat: Make friends at the communal tables in the center of it all.
Nearby: Comal; Revival Bar & Kitchen; Ippuku