After spending most of the summer with non-COVID related health problems, I’ve been suffering from cabin fever, so I decided that we should treat ourselves to a dinner out. I was hankering for Italian, and Buon Appetito showed up as having outdoor dining. Coincidentally, as my daughter reminded us, this was the last restaurant where we ate indoors, before the pandemic. She remembered my telling her that it would probably be out last visit to a restaurant for a while. I was right.
Since then, Buon Appetito has built a small deck on their parking lot. It’s a pretty simple affair, and it could be much enhanced with some plants, particular if positioned to block the view and noises from the adjacent street. But it was pleasant enough for a casual dinner.
Buon Appetito serves classic-modern Italian-American cuisine, by which I mean the sort of dishes you expect to find at Italian restaurants in America in the 21st century. Nothing too exotic, nothing too authentic, nothing too marvelous but stuff that is competently cooked and generally satisfies. It’s the sort of restaurant you expect to find in middle class suburbs.
We started by splitting an appetizer of Mozzarella alla Caprese ($10), which was underwhelming. This was a thick slice of tomato topped with a thick slice of fresh mozarella and large basil leaves – so traditional caprese. It was fine, but I prefer it with slightly riper tomatoes and soft mozarella balls.
As my main dish, I had the gnocchi which was on special that night, which came with a rich, creamy tomato (and I think sausage) sauce. The gnocchi had the right consistency and the dish tasted exactly like I expected it to taste. It was very good without being extraordinary. I enjoyed the leftovers the next day.
My husband had the Costolette di Maiale all’ Arancia ($21), a grilled pork chop in an orange/marsala sauce, which came with mashed potatoes and veggies. He was quite happy with it.
My daughter had the Ravioli con Pomodoro e Limonee ($18). the large ravioli are filled with “spinach, swiss chard, pine nuts & ricotta cheese” and you get your choice of a tomato and artichoke or a lemon cream sauce. She went for the lemon cream, and while both the ravioli and the sauce were very good, the combination of the two really didn’t work. Next time, she’ll try the tomato sauce.
Service was competent, and in all we had a very pleasant dinner.
Buon Appetito 917 A Street HAYWARD, CA 510-247-0120 M-Su 11:30am - 9:00pm