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Che Fico Parco Menlo Opens in the Bay Area

Che Fico Parco Menlo opens this week at the dining-packed Springline development in Menlo Park, expanding on chef David Nayfeld and restaurateur Matt Brewer’s growing group of restaurants.

mozzarella and caviar

Mozzarella and caviar from Che Fico Parco Menlo. Photo: Eric Wolfinger

These days, a new restaurant practically begs for an Instagram-friendly dish. At Che Fico Parco Menlo, which opens in an up-and-coming Bay Area neighborhood tomorrow, that dish will almost surely be its mozzarella with caviar, an antipasto of warm pulled mozzarella stuffed with California black sturgeon caviar. It looks to be both a show-stopper and an introduction to the creative Italian-by-way-of-California cuisine that has helped make the original Che Fico, which opened in 2018, one of San Francisco’s most acclaimed restaurants.

Co-owners chef David Nayfeld and restaurateur Matt Brewer have an eye for all things cool, as the restaurants’ name suggests—Che Fico meaning "cool" in Italian. As with the original location, they have worked with Jon De La Cruz of DLC ID, this time designing a warm, contemporary trattoria vibe with red leather booths, colorfully patterned terrazzo floors, and pasta-shaped Murano glass chandeliers.

Interior of Che Fico Parco Menlo
Terrazzo tiles and more at Che Fico Parco Menlo. Photo: Eric Wolfinger

That eye-catching décor makes for a photogenic setting when the dishes begin hitting the table. Besides that black-and-white mozzarella starter, the menu opens with focaccia and mascarpone and suppli stuffed with Fontina and tomato, and a playful take on stuffed clams made with ‘nduja butter and pizza crust topping. Pastas are made in-house; the opening menu features a range of classics (spaghetti pomodoro, lasagna Bolognese) and fun shapes paired with California’s enviable produce, such as garganelli with fresh shelling beans, heirloom tomato, and house-cured pancetta.

Che Fico is also famed for its pizza; they’re upping the size and selection of the pies served at the new restaurant. Besides favorites from their first location, such as a pineapple and chili pizza, there’s now a pizza-fied take on Amatriciana, a sausage and rapini pie, and a black truffle pizza, all served with Che Fico’s Calabrian chili bomba for added heat.

David Nayfeld
Chef and co-owner David Nayfeld.

The expansive menu rolls on with meats and seafood—including wood-fired whole chicken and Branzino as well as steak—and desserts including gelato soft serve with condiments such as poached strawberries.

Che Fico Parco Menlo’s bar features spritzes and martinis, while the wine list, curated by wine director Jason Alexander, focuses almost exclusively on Italy—the exceptions being one Champagne and bottles from California producers using Italian varietals. The restaurant also promises non-alcoholic mixed drinks and Italian and local beers.

Matt Brewer
Che Fico Parco Menlo co-owner Matt Brewer.

The restaurant joins other high-profile spots in the new Springline development in Menlo Park, a city on the Peninsula about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. There’s an offshoot of one of the Bay Area’s hit sushi restaurants serving omakase (Robin Menlo Park), new locations of other San Francisco favorites (Barebottle Brewing Company and Burma Love), and a café from acclaimed chef Greg Kuzia-Carmel (Canteen). 

Check out more images below from the new Che Fico, which is now taking reservations for dinner service starting tomorrow; it will be open for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, with lunch and brunch hours coming soon.

Che Fico Parco Menlo, 1302 El Camino Real, Ste A, Menlo Park, CA 94025, 650-384-6514, cheficoparcomenlo.com, @cheficoparcomenlo

pasta
Garganelli with fresh shelling beans, heirloom tomato, and house-cured pancetta from. Photo: Eric Wolfinger
pizza with mushrooms
A mushroom-topped pizza from Che Fico Parco Menlo. Photo: Eric Wolfinger
Che Fico Parco Menlo interior
A view of the interior at Che Fico Parco Menlo. Photo: Eric Wolfinger
soft serve gelato
Soft-serve gelato and desserts from Che Fico Parco Menlo. Photo: Eric Wolfinger
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