“Get the mushroom ravioli.” After two independent suggestions to visit Trattoria La Siciliana in Berkeley and have the mushroom ravioli, we knew we had to. At both Mystery Meets, at Beast and the Hare and at Trattoria La Contadina, dining companions suggested La Siciliana and it was only a matter of time. Trattoria La Siciliana is clearly a favorite with a line out the door.
We put our names down on a dreary day and saw 45 minutes pass. We teamed up with another couple to make us a group of 4 and wanted to see if there were any tables of 4 that opened up. Fortunately for us, a table for 4 was a no show and we were in. The tables were close together, the restaurant was jam packed, and very well run. We were seated in the back near the kitchen and a string of wine bottles.We started with fresh bread and a garlicky, herbed olive oil dipping bowl. The bread went fast and we needed to cover the bread with our napkins to suspend our carb temptations.
The Brocschetta al pomodoro had fresh tomato marinated with garlic, basil, olive oil and fresh mozzarella served on toasted crostini for $7.50. It had the perfect balance of herb, fat, cheese and garlic, however, I would skip it for more mushroom ravioli.
Our neighbors and many other tables ordered the crab cakes and also Insalata Cesare traditional caesar salad finished with imported anchovies, grated parmigiano & toasted crostini for $8.00.
The Gnocchi di casa was homemade and the potato pasta dumplings were perfectly prepared al dente. We chose the fresh tomato sauce with basil and a grating of cheese. $12.00. Although tasty and very fresh, would rather order a second helping of the special mushroom ravioli.
Now for the mushroom ravioli on the specials menu. This is no ordinary ravioli. The best mushroom ravioli ever eaten and I wish we just ordered two plates of this. Why? The homemade, thin pasta noodles were lightly soft and chewy at the same time. The mushroom cheese filling was fragrant, savory and so satisfying. There was an intense salty and earthy flavor. What really added to the dish was the light white wine cream sauce with slivers of tender onions. This dish is heaven on earth.
The restaurant only takes reservations for parties larger than 6. For groups smaller than that, name on the list and wait. Believe me the restaurant is reasonable and worth the wait. Find a group of 5 friends and make the reservation and get the mushroom ravioli.