ALAMEDA -- An upscale Italian eatery and a wine and tapas bar linked to a restaurant considered an Alameda institution will each soon open on the Island, offering menus that will range from thin crust pizza to savory waffles.
Trabocco, founded by Alameda residents Giuseppe Naccarelli and his wife, Christine, will open this fall at Alameda South Shore Center, while Ken and Vickie Monize will open Wine & Waffles on Park Street next door to their Ole's Waffle Shop, which has been drawing lines ever since it opened in 1927.
"We will be doing something that Alameda does not have," Ken Monize said. "It will be a 'wine lounge,' a place where people can stop after work or before going to a movie. It will be a relaxed atmosphere."
Trabocco, on the other hand, will be a modern Italian restaurant featuring organic, locally sourced ingredients prepared in an exhibition kitchen.
Giuseppe Naccarelli, the owner and chef, is a native of Palombaro, Italy, and the restaurant draws its name from the Trabocchi, the traditional fishing huts along the country's Abruzzo coast.
The 4,700-square foot restaurant's decor, designed by Lev Weisbach, will include fishing net-inspired light sculptures, a bar and a 90-seat dining room and a heated al fresco dining area.
Naccarelli's market-driven menu will include modern twists on classic Italian dishes, including thin-crust pizzas and rustic fare from a wood-burning oven, fresh pasta and spit-roasted meats.
Also planned are cooking classes and a series of special wine dinners to showcase regional Italian cuisine.
"My culinary education began on my family's farm in Italy's fertile Abruzzo region where I saw first hand how the bounties of harvest were transformed into olive oil, fine wine and regional delicacies," Naccarelli said.
Naccarelli has spent the past 20 years working for the Il Fornaio restaurant chain, rising from sous chef to vice president of kitchen operations for all 21 restaurants. He attended culinary school in Roccarasso, Abruzzo, and studied the restaurant and hotel industries at the Istituto Professionale Alberghiero di Stato.
Ken and Vickie Monize hope to open Wine & Waffles in September.
Along with wine, the restaurant will serve beer and share the kitchen with Ole's Waffle Shop, though it will be a separate business with its own entrance.
The new spot will have a fire place and live entertainment and offer private wine tastings, Ken Monize said. A wine club is also planned.
The menu will feature finger foods, plus savory and dessert waffle creations as a hat tip to Ole's.
Vickie Monize admits she has gotten puzzled looks when she tells people the place will be called Wine & Waffles.
But her husband is from Sonoma County's wine country, while she has been a longtime Alameda resident and was the owner of Ole's before they met. The couple married last summer.
"Our toast was, 'Here's to wine and waffles,'" Vickie Monize said. "And our friends said, 'That would be a great name for a wine bar,' so we went with it."
Staff writer Jackie Burrell contributed to this report. Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.