Alamo, the small town located between Danville and Walnut Creek in the East Bay, may not be a name among die-hard SF foodies, but it's about to get a serious new Italian restaurant, Izzy's. Helmed by chef Joe Panarello, who's worked for David Burke in Las Vegas and was the chef de cuisine under John Sedlar at L.A.'s Rivera, Izzy's plans to take over the former Forli space on Danville Blvd. (pictured above) and transform it into a modern, farm-to-table take on Italian fare.
Named for the owner's father (and not to be confused with the Bay Area steak chain), Izzy's will have 150 seats, including a 60-seat communal table. The cuisine will be modern Italian, with housemade breads and pastas, sustainable seafood, and Neapolitan-style pizza (baked in a gas oven, as Contra Costa County unfortunately doesn't allow wood-burning ovens). The menu is still in development, but Panarello mentioned pea-shoot risotto and pork-belly pizza topped with a farm egg as a couple of dishes he's hoping to include. There's a full liquor license, and Panarello is currently seeking a bartender to develop a seasonal cocktail program driven by Italian liqueurs.
"We see this project as bringing a taste of the city out to the 'burbs, but we also want it to be a destination for San Franciscans," says Panarello. "I'm also hoping to collaborate with other East Bay chefs in the period while we build up to opening." Construction is currently underway, with a targeted opening date of October.