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Trabocco: Italian Fare with a Californian Flair

By Marina I. Jokic

Most chefs dream of owning their own restaurants and being able to express their unique culinary visions. Chef Giuseppe has had the good fortune of opening Trabocco restaurant in 2013 with his wife Christine. Trabocco has a bright and airy feel with a 90-seat dining room with a cozy fireplace and a large skylight. Despite its ample size, the restaurant offers intimate seating options galore and is a coveted first-date destination.

Trabocco's menu is influenced by the cuisine of Giuseppe's native region of Abruzzo, and the restaurant design is likewise inspired by the beautiful and unique fishing piers found along the Adriatic coast there.

"Trabocco offers something very special to the community: [simply] authentic Italian cuisine, a warm and friendly environment with the bonus of abundant free parking," Christine Naccarelli said. "Chef Giuseppe greets everyone as if they were family."

It is hard to pinpoint the most popular dish at Trabocco, but when pressed, Naccarelli identifies some personal favorites. Among them, the Polipo e Patate consisting of grilled octopus, potatoes, celery, shallots, and lemon topped with fresh olive oil is a classic Italian dish that is done to perfection. The Pizza Cristina with mushrooms, fior di latte, arugula, prosciutto, and rich truffle oil is decadence on a plate.

Naccarelli also singles out the house-made pastas including their Ravioli con Coda stuffed with braised oxtail, au jus, pecorino Pepato and the Agnolotti di Zucca which features succulent butternut squash, walnuts, brown butter sage sauce, and freshly grated parmesan over homemade tomato sauce. Items prepared on the wood-fire grill and their daily rotisserie specials are also favorites among diners.

The open concept of the restaurant, anchored by a black-tiled Stefano-Ferrara pizza oven, offers a glimpse of the energy brimming in the kitchen. There are seats at the bar for those wanting a close-up view of the excitement. The private wine room decked with classic Italian memorabilia of days past makes for an ideal private dining space, affording privacy and luxury. With a covered and heated patio, Trabocco allows for year-round outdoor dining and has earned a reputation for the perfect spot to enjoy one of their refreshing artisanal cocktails and perhaps a small plate.

"Working as a husband and wife team has been surprisingly great," Naccarelli said. "It has been nice to discover that our business partnership is as strong as our personal partnership."

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