There are plenty of Italian restaurants within walking distance from San Francisco’s waterfront, and a goodly number of them have an unfortunate tendency to wheeze sawdust. So we’re pretty thrilled about the forthcoming opening of Donato Scotti’s Cento Osteria at 100 Brannan St., previously home to Caputo’s (and, once upon a time, The Slanted Door).
It’s not technically an opening party, but a “pre-opening apericena” that benefits Family House, a local organization that works with families of children suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses. Scotti, also of Berkeley’s Donato & Co. and Donato Enoteca and CRU in Redwood City, hails from the Italian city of Bergamo, not far from Milan, which is well-regarded for stuffed pastas like casonsei (made with sausage, pancetta, amaretto crumbs, Grana Padano, and garlic). You can taste plenty of it, along with pizzas from a wood-fired oven, roast suckling pig, salumi, antipasti, and lots of veg-friendly dishes, too.
Regarding the term “apericena,” it’s a sort of infiltration of small-plates dining into Italian culture, and a combination of the words for appetizer (aperitivo) and dinner (cena). Arguably, it only really works with a full bar — which is why Campari America is sponsoring the event, pouring Negronis, Boulevardiers, and Sbagliatos, a Negroni variation that swaps sparkling wine for gin. It’s Italian for “messed up,” but the only thing messed up is nonattendance at a party where the $50 admission includes three drink tickets.
Cento Osteria’s Apericena Pre-Opening, Thursday, May 3, 6-9 p.m., at Cento Osteria, 100 Brannan St., $50; centoosteria.com