Donato Scotti has successfully opened two Italian restaurants in the Bay Area and is hoping he can work his magic when the doors to his newest endeavor, Desco, open Tuesday.
Chef Scotti is taking over a space at 499 Ninth St. in Old Oakland, right near the city’s downtown. The historic structure — it was built in 1876 — has housed two other restaurants in the last 15 months: the short-lived Borgia Italia, operated by Paul Ferrari, and B Restaurant.
Desco, which means table in Latin, has rustic wood furniture and a vintage brick wall meant to evoke a 1940s Italian caffé, according to a press announcement.
“I love the feel of the building, the warmth of the restaurant with the original brick work,” said Scotti.
Desco will feature seasonally fresh, ingredient-driven cuisine. Tuesday’s debut dinner menu, for example, includes Piatto della Casa, a house made assortment of smoked duck, lamb prosciutto and rabbit terrine; Casonsei, a rustic ravioli from Bergamo filled with pork and house made sausage with a brown butter and guanciale sauce. All the fresh pasta is made in-house. Desco will also offer traditional Neapolitan pizza and schiacciatte, all prepared in a wood-fired oven.
Desco has an extensive, all-Italian wine list put together by wine director Eric Lecours. In addition to aperitifs and cocktails, patrons can choose among 50 varietals, including 20 offered by the glass.
Scotti grew up in Bergamo, Italy and studied at the Instituto Alberghiero di San Pellegrino culinary school. He then moved to the United States and worked at the legendary Valentino in Los Angeles and Il Fornaio in Sacramento. In 2004, Scotti opened La Strada in Palo Alto. In 2009, he opened Donato Enoteca in Redwood City.
The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner (dinner only for the next two weeks), Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. An adjacent private lot and neighborhood streets provide accessible parking options. The telephone number is (510) 663-9000 and web address is www.descooakland.com.