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Dopo — Creative, Affordable Italian Cuisine

Regional dishes change daily, but always include a selection of imaginative pasta and thin-crust pizza.

There aren't many restaurants with daily menu changes that I can afford for the average weekend dinner. Such quick turnover of items indicates fresh products and constant vigilance and creativity on the part of the chef. All these ring true at in Oakland, without ringing me up for the equivalent of my student loan payment for a dinner for two.

The menu is brief, but it represents cuisine from several regions of Italy. Lighter coastal dishes like sea urchin with butter beans are often included, along with heavier inland dishes like a classic lasagna. Typical of the menu is agnolotti with lamb, a dish that comes directly from Italy's Piedmont, which shares its name with the avenue where Dopo is located.

To add to the region-specific feel of the restaurant, the wine list is an outline of Italy with wines and their origins sprinkled throughout.

A staple of the menu is thin-crusted pizza often topped with buffalo mozzarella, wood fire-smoked ham and Italian sausage. What region of Italy doesn't love pizza?

It's true that this place is often packed on weekends, but the one time that my party got stuck outside waiting for a table, the manager came out more than once to check on us and ask if we needed water and reassure us of the waiting time.

Special regional dinners are held every two months, so check out their event page and mark your calendars. 

is open Monday through Friday for lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Monday through Saturday for dinner, 5:30 to 10 p.m. (unil 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday); and is available Sunday for private parties. Reservations are available for parties of five or more. 

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