Restaurant founder Matteo Cattaneo joined forces with Mario Cassineri, executive chef and partner of BiCE to launch Officine Buona Forchetta, a spin-off of the popular South Park eatery. Melding Buona Forchetta’s award winning Neapolitan-style pies with Mario’s Northern Italian upscale entrees, Officine Buona Forchetta’s 2,600-square-foot space is an approachable, family-friendly restaurant, driven by quality dishes and an authentic Italian ethos.
While much of Officine Buona Forchetta’s menu draws from the original South Park location, including their classic Neapolitan pizzas, calzones and a selection of antipasti dishes, the new location offers a more expansive entrée and dessert selection, overseen by chefs Francesca Peroncelli and Fernando Gorrino.
Central to not only the design but the culinary program as a whole, Officine’s iconic gold-tiled pizza ovens are run by five-time pizza world champion and pizzaiolo Marcello Avitabile. Named for Matteo’s parents, ovens Augusta and Sergio will churn out new Neapolitan creations, including Pizza Al Metro, a two-foot long pie customizable for sharing, while Augusta will be responsible for solely gluten-free items.
In the main kitchen, entrées include a build-it-yourself pasta bowl and chef-driven meat and seafood dishes. Dessert is overseen by chef Francesca, where her line-up of mostly gluten-free sweets include Officine’s signature Cremoso al Cioccolato e Nocciola, a chocolate crème topped with 24 karat gold leaf.
The cocktail menu draws heavily from traditional Italian spirits, utilizing grappa and Campari to create a classic yet approachable line-up of sippers, while the wine and beer list features a rotating selection of Italian labels.
Catering to the local Point Loma office buildings and businesses, Officine’s lunch menu offers diners a prefix option for those looking to eat on the go. Priced at $14, diners will have their choice of three entrees and two side dishes, along with a non-alcoholic beverage.
To transform the former naval barracks into an Italian-inspired garage, the team enlisted the help of Ruland Design Group, who worked to preserve the building’s history while reinventing its purpose for Officine. The 200-seat space includes a 1,500-square foot patio in front and a 1,000-square foot family-friendly patio with custom built playground in the rear.
The intimate interior is dominated by three separate stations: the bar, pizza station, and main kitchen, with bright red seating positioned around each to give patrons the opportunity to watch the pizzaiolos and chefs at work. Found objects add depth and intrigue to the restaurant, including antique farming tools gifted from Mario’s grandmother, a classic Vespa perched atop the bar, and a vintage Fiat that’s been converted into a table for two.
Officine Buona Forchetta will serve lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Mondays starting at 11 a.m., closing for dinner on Tuesdays. Brunch is expected to launch this summer. For more information, visit officinebuonaforchetta.com.