Making magic in South Park since 2013, Buona Forchetta is setting out to win over another local neighborhood. Though many of their regular diners have pleaded with owner Matteo Cattaneo to bring his brand of handmade Italian food and warm hospitality to their communities, Eater has learned that his long-awaited second restaurant project will land in Liberty Station by the end of the year.
Joining a new wave of food and drink projects at the north end of the complex, including the just-opened Soda & Swine and the soon-to-launch Fireside by The Patio and Liberty Public Market, this new venture is a partnership between Cattaneo and Mario Cassineri, executive chef and partner of BICE Ristorante in the Gaslamp. Cattaneo and his team will handle the production of pizza and other Buona Forchetta signatures while Cassineri will oversee an approachable menu of authentic Italian dishes, from pasta to seafood and meat.
The restaurant will have large-scale dining patios in front and behind the restaurant; the back patio space will also include a kids' play area. Inside, a central island will house two globe-shaped wood-fired pizza ovens decked out in gold tiles; one oven will be dedicated to baking the gluten-free pizzas that Buona Forchetta has been working to perfect. Beyond the traditional Neapolitan style pizza, they plan on branching out into Sicilian pan pizza, customizable personal pizzas, fried dough with pizza toppings and even 'pizza a metro', or pizza sold by the meter for large groups. An open kitchen will cook up the rest of the dishes, which Cassineri says will be affordable but focused on quality of ingredients.
Retail Insite's Jim Rinehart and Jill Morton of Capital Growth Properties worked on the lease of the 2,622-square-foot space, which Cattaneo says will be a rustic warehouse space with Italian flavor, from custom murals to a Vespa mounted on the wall. Nathan Cadieux from McMillin Companies', Liberty Station's developer, said, "We're so excited to offer the experience of Buona Forchetta to the growth of our neighborhood. Their space is located on a pedestrian-friendly main street and is another great step in creating a vibrant atmosphere that celebrates exploration and walkability."