Belli Osteria is a small and cozy restaurant located in the Berkeley area of San Francisco, California. The focus at Belli Osteria is on Italian-inspired dishes that are made fresh using locally sourced ingredients. Its dining room is quaint, allowing for personal service and an intimate touch. Belli is ideal for date nights or small gatherings with friends over the dinner table.
The dinner specials are always decided daily by the chefs, depending on what they could find that particular day from the market and various suppliers. The dishes themselves vary quite a bit, but two staples that guests will often see are the salmon brandade with watercress, caviar and beurre blanc, as well as the pork chop with creamy ricotta polenta, brussel sprouts and chasseur sauce.
We've eaten at Belli Osteria about 8 times so far and will continue to go back because I can honestly say I have never had a dish that didn't delight. Appetizer, first course, second course or desert - all have been spot on and delicious. This last time we had just returned from 3 weeks in Tuscany and the meal was a trip down memory lane. Wonderful. I can highly recommend Belli Osteria!
Their special provenance is squid ink sauce and pasta. But everything at this small gourmet gem is delicious. And the service is always gracious.
My friend and I had a wonderful meal before going to Berkeley Rep. Starting with the attentive and personable server, then the delicious appetizers of braised tongue in a rich tomato broth with nicoise olives and salad with walnut paste and cheese artfully spread along the sides of the bowl, through the sublime house-made ravioli filled with beef and marinated tomatoes, and kabocha-based pillowy gnocchi, I savored every moment. The only disappointment was that we had absolutely no room for dessert. And an unexpected treat with our check - our server reminded us of the 10% discount for Berkeley Rep patrons.
Casual but not drab. Beautiful setting. Big cloth napkins. GREAT FOOD. All 4 of my friends enjoyed their entrees. I had black pasta ravioli with orange ground salmon. Interesting colors. Not skimpy on the salmon. Place filled up, but we stayed about 1/2 hour after we had eaten without feeling we had to go.
4 of us dined there on a Sunday evening. It's a lovely inviting and intimate space. All aspects of dinner from the attentive(not hovering)waiter to the perfectly prepared and presented antipasti, arugula salad, pasta and secundi were outstanding. The recommended wine perfectly complimented the dinner. Great find in downtown Berkeley(close to BART). It is an upscale dining experience not to be missed.
My friend and I have enjoyed dinner here on several occasions prior to attending Berkeley Rep productions. The location is convenient, the service is good, and the food is outstanding and reasonably priced. The menu options are limited but each one seems to be carefully prepared and tasty.
Small place on the go to street in Berkeley (Shattuck), where there are several excellent restaurants (i.e., Comal), but found this place by chance, and while it was noisy and the service not the best, the food was excellent; great homemade pasta. Actually everything we ordered was great. Highly recommended for a great mea.
Dined here before the theatre, and it was packed and noisy. Limited menu. Enjoyed the fish, but portions were small for the money. Good place to go before Berkeley Rep, but I wouldn't make a special trip otherwise.
My favorite restaurant. Too bad it closed.
This restaurant gets crowded with pre-theater crowd so reservations are a must. Hit it around 7:45 and you should be able to get in. Limited to wine and beer; no bar, but food is great and service, when not slammed with customers, is very good. We are repeat customers and value this gem.
Portions were large and the pappardelle with beef was delicious, I ate the whole large portion. Caesar salad was delicious with fried anchovies on top, but maybe a tad too much dressing. Really delicious wine and a delightful quiet Tuesday evening at 7:30pm, excellent service although the main dish took a tad too long, the waitress gave us a a free lemon sorbet which was perfect for after the meal.
Appetizers and salads are wonderful here. Great gazpacho, in particular. Pasta dishes are uneven although definitely ambitious. Gnocchi was leaden heavy, but other pasta dishes have been good. However, it is extremely difficult to get the bill, and then pay within a reasonable amount of time -- even when you have explained that you are going to theater.
We read the good reviews, but belli was above and beyond their reviews. Service was attentive, menu was creative and taste was extremely flavorful and tasty. Will be back soon.
Hard to beat. Exceptionally good food. Service was hooked. Noise: in keeping with current trends (shouting level). Just be quiet and enjoy the food.
After several exceptional meals at Belli Osteria I was disappointed this time. The salads were excellent, but the main courses not so good. My companions had dense gnocchi and leathery ravioli, though they ate them. I sent my tripe back -- it had a nasty, gamey flavor that its overly peppered sauce failed to disguise -- and ate a second salad.
All of our dishes were consistently good with generous portions.
We really enjoyed our first dinner here and will be back very soon!
Visiting in Berkeley, we booked through Open Table about an hour-and-a-half before our arrival. When we arrived the Maitre d' said "oh, we stopped checking our computer." There was a table available, however, and we were seated--and then we waited about 10 minutes until the server finally came over (and the restaurant did not seem especially busy). The food and wine then appeared in good time and all was very tasty and well prepared and presented. The server was very charming and friendly and apologetic, but then we were left waiting at the end of the meal for someone to come and take a dessert order. The management made up for it with a complementary gelato--which was quite good. Enjoyed ourselves despite the lapses. Would go again.
We have enjoyed Belli Osteria on several occasions. They always have interesting and tasty specials. And, the main menu varies. There are usually 2 or more choices of ravioli and they are consistently outstanding and often unique. It's a great place to dine before an event at Freight and Salvage, Berkeley Rep, Aurora Theater, etc. or any time you crave non-standard Italian food in a friendly setting.
We had a great meal at Belli Osteria. Stumbled upon it on open table and decided to check it out. We were very pleased!
The service was really exceptional and so friendly with our children. Food was overall very delicious--would give 4.5 stars if I could.
The burrata and melon was delicious; as was the house made ravioli and linguini with seafood. "gelato" was not like gelato--more like ice cream but still good. We will be back for sure. Many thanks to the wonderful waitress Chantay for her Amazing Service and friendliness. For her alone--we will come back!
We have brought friends here many times & did so last Saturday. Reservation asked for quiet table, one offered near open door too chilly, said they had to leave it open. Waited 40 minutes for another table, and after we were seated were ignored for 15 minutes. Friend went to host to complain that we couldn't get anyone's attention, and host completely ignored him. Saw that they had another party at table near door, and had closed the door for them. Were in restaurant 1 hour before receiving any food. They said it was because we were seated when new parties came in, but they were served before we were, even though we had been waiting an hour. Terrible. Our friends won't be coming back. The food is so good we will give 2nd chance.
Hands down this is my favorite restaurant in the east bay. The food is absolutely incredible. California coast albacore conserva, green beans, purple potatoes with thyme vinaigrette & spicy aioli is TO DIE FOR. The squid ink linguini with pacific octopus, venus clams & gulf shrimp with butter & chardonnay...amazing!
Not only is the food so goo you will want to eat there every night, but the service is impeccable! The table is cleared after each course or used dishes/utensils, so you start fresh...who does that??! It's so subtle you don't even notice it, but you can't help but notice. Everyone there is friendly, professional and lovely.
I can't recommend this place highly enough. FIVE STARS.
Terrific intimate restaurant with wonderfully friendly, professional, efficient staff. Delicious salads and dishes. Excellent range of good wines. The seafood black pasta is great. One of the best moderately priced restaurants in the entire Bay area.
We've been there 3 times now and there is always a table for us as soon as we arrive. Go now before the buzz fills this place up. The food and dessert are SO good! I especially like the ricotta gnocci & my husban loves the steak.
I'm an an omnivore, so the current menu looks delicious, but my girlfriend is vegetarian, so that was one thing that was lacking. A couple of vegetarian alternatives, sans mushrooms (for her), would be nice. I hope Belli Osteria would consider that.
Three of us had the squid ink pasta with mixed seafood. Unlike mostnseafood pastas, this dish was heavily laden wth seafood. So tasty! And the lamb chops was a huge porton--three double chops at a bargain price of $24. The caesar salad was unique and delicious.
This place was fantastic! The food was excellent! I would put this up there with Trattoria Corso and Olivetos. Much better than A16.
Great location near Berkeley rep. Dining partners said pasta was terrific
Restaurant noise level way too high. Will probably not go back.
Fantastic food! Chef Paul is a gem. My favorite restaurant in Berkeley!
We have been here several times, usually before a Berkeley Rep play. The menu is constantly changing, but everything we have had has been absolutely incredible. This time I had the beet salad and the halibut entree. Both dishes used the freshest ingredients, were beautifully presented, and absolutely the best I have ever had. Not a coincidence that my dining companions with all their different choices said the exact same thing about their dishes. The server was attentive, but not intrusive, and she was very helpful and knowledgeable when we asked for suggestions. I also appreciated how she kept in mind our need to leave at a particular time so as not to be late for our play. We love this place!
Tucked away in Berkeley on one of the main streets lies Belli Osteria. Thank you OpenTable for the great find!
They were out of the squid ink linguine and my mom was disappointed because that is why we came here. It was only 7:30 pm on a Sat. Good that they ran out but wow! So we asked them to be creative about the dish and they did, substituting the octopus for more manila clams.
Then they said they ran out of bread? How weird... so when we asked them to be creative about it, they brought out more bread? I don't understand. But when we got our food, each dish was perfect.
I do not know what happened in the beginning with being out (then not being out) of meals, but they made up for it well.
Lovely hostess. Good seating. Will recommend
The food was good, but the service was terrible with the server's broken english. We had to wait way too long for our food without explanation. When we asked for more bread to mop up the sauce from the appetizer, we were told they were out of bread. This is at 9PM on a Friday night.
We've walked by this spot many times without ever seeing it since the restaurant has a narrow front. The food is excellent, nicely presented, cooked well and very tasty. The staff are friendly and helpful with menu selections. The wine list is priced fairly with good variety and can be bought by the glass or bottle. Bravo for another excellent place to eat in Berkeley's Theatre District.
This is a wonderful authentic Italian restaurant with interesting, fresh and creative menu choices. The menu always has an excellent fresh fish entree, which most recently was a perfectly cooked and generous-sized portion of wild salmon. The pasta dishes are unusual and delicious. The salads are outstanding, with an interesting variety of ingredients and large enough for 2 people to share. This restaurant consistently has the best and most satisfying food of any restaurant I have been to in the East Bay. It also has reasonably-priced wines by the glass and bottle.
The Gazpacho soup with the grilled shrimp was a pleasant combination of fresh tasting pureed vegetables with a bit of a bite to the finish. The shrimp were smoky and buttery and very good sized as was the bowl of gazpacho. Scallop appetizer was small (2 large scallops) but well done, although the scallops were a little underdone, but my wife really enjoyed them. I had ravioli stuffed with ham and cheese with a cream sauce & peas. It was excellent, although there wasn't that much to eat as is typical with many ravioli dishes. My wife had the pasta with squid ink sauce with same grilled shrimp as in the gazpacho and some clams, which I also really liked. Had some home made almond caramel ice cream for dessert, which was the perfect touch.
Excellent food served attractively with great service. Highly recommend it for before Berkeley Rep.
Duck breast with cauliflower was lovely. It was served in a bowl which was awkward for cutting and setting down the knife between uses.
I had not even realised this restaurant was tucked away next to Comal in downtown Berkeley. We had a large party and every dish was excellent - squid ink linguine with shellfish, salmon with squid ink risotto, the steak & lovely cabbage salad to start. Also loved our server. A new favourite!
No iced tea, a two day expired special on blackboard,terrible service,meh food. So close to theaters, but we won't be back.