SoLo: Oakland Trattoria Gets a Makeover
Newly redesigned restaurant works well with Black Rose pub
SoLo refers to the
location, south of Locust Street.
It also shows up on the revamped menu, as the wood-fired pizzas now come in
three sizes, the smallest of which is named the SoLo.
The local Flux
Design worked on the restaurant’s new look. The wood-fired pizza ovens and the
marble counter topped with granite still remain, but the front door and the
area above the ovens showcase vibrant tile mosaics of flames, a theme that
continues into the dining areas.
SoLo shares the
kitchen with the Black Rose, so diners can choose from Irish pub and California-style
pizza menus. Irish stew and calamari may be ordered at the same table.
The first page of
SoLo’s menu consists of the pizzas, while the second offers appetizers, salads,
sandwiches and pasta entrees. The basic pizza comes with tomato sauce and
mozzarella. The three sizes are SoLo ($4.95), Mezzo ($7.95) and Doppio
($12.95). Additional toppings are priced from 50 cents to $1.50, depending on
the size of the pizza. Choose from cheese like creamy goat, Gorgonzola and Gouda; meats like
prosciutto, pepperoni and anchovies; 12 different veggies; and touches such as
roasted garlic, EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) and barbecue sauce. Those who
don’t want to create their own can pick from nine standard pizzas that will be
familiar to those who dined at Oakland Trattoria. Among the standard pizzas are
the classic margherita, barbecue chicken and an old friend, the portabella
mushroom. The mushroom pizza ($7.95-$16.95) begins with EVOO and roasted
garlic, adds roasted mushrooms and five white cheeses, and finishes with some
chopped fresh basil. The crust is thin and light.
Schmidt’s local Louise’s Trattoria will recognize the salad of goat cheese,
pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes ($12.95). This is California food, with organic baby lettuces
and sherry vinaigrette. The cheese is creamy and the pine nuts contribute some
crunch. All ingredients are of top quality.
When it comes to the
Italian nachos ($9.95), tortilla chips form the base for ingredients like
black olives, fresh tomatoes and chopped pepperoncini. This is a mountain of
food that should be shared; ultimately, there is too much cheese.
The six pasta
entrees tend to be simple. The three-cheese ravioli, featuring mascarpone,
Parmesan and ricotta ($11.95), is a serving of seven, each topped with a bit of
fresh wilted spinach. Marinara sauce is served in the middle of the plate. The
ravioli are quite good, though they were better in years past at the trattoria.
The refreshingly simple papparadelle ($12.95) makes for a very nice pasta dish.
The wide noodles are paired with chopped Roma tomatoes, bold and spicy Italian
sausage, a bit of grated aged Parmesan and tomato cream sauce.
The wine list offers
about 25 choices, which is adequate for this type of eatery. The pub features
nearly 40 beers.
Servers are young
and aim to please. The kitchen sometimes slows down at busy times, creating a
backlog of pizza and pasta orders. But all in all, the makeover works. SoLo is
a very pleasant place for a casual meal.
2856 N. Oakland Ave.
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