The Beat on Your Eats: Italian Restaurants

Pizza, pasta, prosciutto—Italian restaurants with pizzazz.

pausa bar & cookery

San Mateo

If you’re looking for a breather from the Silicon Valley hustle, the stylish trattoria Pausa is the place to hit pause. In the mood for charcuterie? Take your pick of the trattoria’s wide array of house-cured meats and cheeses—but if assessing prosciutto di parma and porchetta, gorgonzola dolce and primo sale becomes too much, you can always go with the house selection. With the monkfish in black garlic puree, pork ossobuco with truffled sheep ricotta gnudi, and a well-loved range of wood-fired pizzas and pastas, you’ll have to come back more than once to truly do the menu justice. 223 E 4th Avenue. Open daily.

Cover Photo: Courtesy of Pausa / Photo: Courtesy of Nadia Andreini

donato enoteca

Redwood City

Benvenuto to Donato Enoteca! While you make a thorough investigation of the menu, order a glass of barolo and the housemade salumi charcuterie board, rows of thinly sliced meat in appetizing rows of pink and red. From there, we recommend heading straight to the fresh, handmade pasta. Whether you opt for the bigoli e coda (braised oxtail with thick comforting noodles) or agnolotti del plin (small ravioli stuffed with sausage, veal and rabbit in a red sauce), you’re in for a treat. For a taste of Chef Donato’s hometown in northern Italy, order the ravioli bergamaschi with wild greens, sunchokes and brown butter. And don’t disregard the wood-fired pizzas! 1041 Middlefield Road. Closed Mondays.

doppio zero

San Carlos / Mountain View

It’s rarely a good move to go to a pizza place and order the pasta, unless that place is Doppio Zero. While you can’t go wrong with one of its top-notch Neapolitan pizzas, like the deliciously simple Bufalina or mushroom-topped Fungo with fontina and goat cheese, it would be a shame to miss out on the homemade pasta. Try the fettuccine in a rich, slow-cooked wild boar sauce, or spinach ravioli plumped with mushrooms and ricotta, served in a fondue truffle sauce. Finish your meal the Italian way, by lingering over a potent digestif of limoncello or amaro accompanied by the house-made panna cotta. 160 Castro Street, Mountain View and 617 Laurel Street, San Carlos. Open daily.