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Bites Nearby: Dopo on Piedmont Avenue

Regional Italian cuisine and a careful menu that doesn't eat your wallet.

There aren't many restaurants with daily menu changes that I can afford for the average weekend dinner. Such quick item turnover is indicative of fresh products and constant vigilance and creativity on the part of the chef. All these still 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 represents cuisine from several regions of Italy. Lighter coastal dishes like sea urchin with butter beans, to heavier inland dishes like a classic lasagna, are often included. Typical of the menu is agnolotti with lamb, a dish that comes directly from Piedmont, the namesake of the avenue on which Dopo is located.

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

A staple of the menu is thin crusted pizza often topped with buffalo mozzarella, woodfire smoked ham and Italian sausage. But 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 dwindling waiting time.

Dopo is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner hours, and is available Sunday for private parties. Special regional dinners are held every two months, so check out the event page and mark your calendars. 

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