Though it’s not set to open until early 2020, the Buona Forchetta Family of restaurants will give a peek into its newest eatery this Saturday, December 7 in South Park during the neighborhood’s Holiday Walkabout & Luminaria event. Dubbed Matteo after founder Matteo Cattaneo, the new non profit restaurant replaces longstanding cafe and bakery Rebecca’s Coffee House at the corner Juniper and 30th Street.
Already decorated by large custom mural by local artist Stacey Uy, the 2,800-square-foot all-day eatery and bakery will start mornings off with American breakfast staples along with homemade Italian pastries and house-baked breads. Later in the day, the restaurant will serve aperitivo, offering tapas and Italian wines. There will also be a market component, featuring imported Italian specialties and Buona Forchetta’s pastas and sauces to-go, as well as a small event space that will host classes for children. Catteneo, who has a gelato and pizza spot in North Park, a barbecue joint in South Park, and another Buona Forchetta in Coronado also on his docket, will donate proceeds from Matteo to local causes and organizations; the public will be able to nominate recipients through a website launching early next year.
This Saturday will mark the introduction of Matteo’s just-appointed head baker and general manager Joanne Sherif, who recently sold Cardamom Café and Bakery in North Park to a new Italian eatery. Starting at 6 p.m., the restaurant will be selling pre-packaged gingerbread kids and Christmas cookie kits as well as European favorites like stollen and panettone, mini holiday tea cakes, and more with all profits benefitting the local McKinley School Foundation. There will also be face painting, caroling, and other food and drink available.