|" Charming La Finestra in Lafayette Well Worth Seeking Out " -San Francisco Chronicle, Bill Staggs
|Italian / Sicilian Restaurant
Catering Services, Private Banquet Room
Please send your inquires to Lafinestraristorante@yahoo.com (925) 519-3500
Hours of Operation: Lunch Mon. to Fri 11:30 to 4:30 Dinner Mon. to Sunday 4:30 to 9:00
Now Open Mondays, No Corkage Fee on Mondays
Bring your favorite wine and we wil serve it for you at no charge
Not combined with any other offers, One Bottle per table
|Nestled in a corner space among eucalyptus
trees, La Finestra is a as out of the way as you
can get in downtown Lafayette. This Italian
eatery offers a pleasant atmosphere and a
variety of Sicilian-influenced dishes at very
reasonable prices. The menu opts for reliability
over flashiness, with fresh pastas cooked with
grilled chicken, fish, and vegetables. Heartier
entr'ees include a marinated, flame-grilled pork
chop stuffed with provolone cheese and
prosciutto and jumbo prawns sauteed in spicy
- " Diablo Magazine "
|Prefixed Menus to Choose
From For Your Private
Private Banquet room up to
For booking the banquet
room please contact
925 519 3500
|Private Banquet Room is available for
Birthday parties, and Corporate Meetings.
For more information call (925) 519-3500
Published May 13th, 2009
" A Window to the World in Lafayette "
By Susie Iventosch
My husband and I took his dad out to La Finestra last week,
to celebrate his birthday. We chose this particular
restaurant due to its close proximity and terrific reputation.
And more importantly, the birthday boy has always enjoyed
its food and charming location, nestled amongst giant
eucalyptus trees on Lafayette Circle.
The experience certainly lived up to our expectations and
the fun-loving waiter, Tony Lavino, was excellent, too. He
covered that restaurant like nobody's business, serving up
meal after delicious meal with impeccable timing.
Chef-owner, Jeff Assadi, is just about the nicest restaurant
chef I've ever met. His love of cooking is evident in the
quality, taste and presentation of his cuisine, but he is also
a most gracious and inviting host.
Now, I am not a restaurant critic by trade, but I am a
professional talker, and I really enjoyed getting to know
Chef Jeff better the following day. He took me on a tour of
his restaurant, starting with the front of the house, then onto
the quaint upstairs banquette room, and finally into the
kitchen, where he prepared his fabulous "Polenta alla
Contadina" just for me!
This grilled polenta appetizer is served with a robust sauce
of wild mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley and
cream, finished with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Jeff
not only shared the recipe, but he showed me exactly how
to replicate it at home. As a polenta lover from way back,
this made me very happy! He said he'd show me his recipe
for lamb shanks on another day. Sounds great to me.
As Jeff described his love of cooking, he told me that every
dish (with the exception of lasagna, cannelloni and lamb
shanks) is made to order - every single serving, including
his minestrone and porcini soups! With a small restaurant,
he is able to put his heart into every meal. Though he has a
bachelor's degree in engineering, cooking is his passion
and it really shows.
For 16 years, Jeff worked for Faz Restaurants overseeing
new restaurant openings and operations. This work inspired
him to own a restaurant himself one day, so when La
Finestra founder Andrea Ditta was looking for a buyer in
2003, it didn't take Jeff long to sign up!
"Faz Poursohi is still a really good friend and I learned so
much from him and all of his chefs over the years," he said.
"But I am so happy here, cooking for my customers in my
own restaurant. I really enjoy it."
In 2005, Jeff took a mini-sabbatical to Italy with his family.
"I visited both the front and the back of the house in many
restaurants in Florence and Venice," he noted. "It was a
great way to learn about the Italian menus and to see how
they operate in their kitchens."
While there, he took a series of photographs with a focus on
"windows" since La Finestra means "the window" in Italian.
Although Jeff claims to be an amateur photographer,
patrons will be impressed with his gallery of Italian windows
adorning the restaurant!
La Finestra is available for private parties and event
addition to regular dining hours.
for menus and information
100 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette, (925) 284-5282
Lunch Hours: Mon. thru Fri.
11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 4:30
to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 4:30 to 10 p.m.
|“Charming La Finestra in Lafayette Well Worth Seeking Out "
-SF Chronicle, Bill Staggs
Served From Monday to Sunday 4:30 to 9:00
Platter of Grilled Zucchini, Eggplant, Potatoes Mushrooms and Artichokes with Balsamic and
Olive Oil Marinade 11
Gamberoni all’Uva Passa
Jumbo Prawns Sautéed with Pine Nuts and Raisins in a Mild Spicy White Wine Butter Sauce
Over Garlic Crostini 9
Involtini di Melanzane
Grilled Eggplant Rolled and Stuffed with Ricotta and Romano Cheese
On a bed of Marinara Sauce 8
Polenta alla Contadina
Wild Mushrooms Sautéed with Sun Dried Tomatoes in a Cream Sauce Over Grilled Polenta,
Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese 8
Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings in a Sicilian Pesto Sauce, with Roasted Almonds 8
Cold Smoked Salmon, Thinly Sliced and Served with Capers and Cucumber Dill Yogurt Sauce
Caponata alla Siciliana
Roasted Eggplant and Bell Peppers with Capers, Olives in a Tomato Sauce 8
Molluschi e Mitili Cotti a Vapore
Steamed Clams and Mussels in White Wine Pesto Sauce 12
Minestrone Soup with Canellini Beans, Spinach, Tomatoes, Zucchini and Fusilli Pasta in a Light
Creamy Vegetable Broth
Cup 3 Bowl 6
Porcini in Brodo
Imported Porcini Mushrooms in Creamy Vegetable Broth with Garlic Bruschetta
Cup 3 Bowl 6
Organic Baby Greens with Dried Cranberries,Roasted Almonds and Kalamata Olives and Sliced
Tomato, Tossed with Fresh Lemon and Almond Dressing 6
Crisp Heart of Romaine, an Anchovy Filet and Croutons with Caesar Dressing, Sprinkled with
Parmesan Cheese 7
Buffalo Mozzarella, Sliced Tomatoes and Basil with Baby Spinach, Drizzled with Salsa
Insalata dell’ Erbe
Sliced Tomatoes with Salsa Ericina, Feta Cheese, Roasted Walnuts and Fresh Seasonal Herbs
(Cilantro, Tarragon, Mint, Italian Parsley), with Organic Baby Greens 7
Insalata di Barbabietole
Oven Baked Red and Yellow Beet Salad with Organic Baby
Greens and Gorgonzola Cheese, drizzled with Champagne
and Orange Vinaigrette 8
Thinly Sliced Fennel and Orange with Organic Mixed Baby
Greens in an Orange Flavored Olive Oil Dressing 7
Sogliola alla Piccata
Filet of Sole, Pan Seared with Lemon and Capers in White Wine, Served Over Sautéed
Salmone con Dill Brodo Vegetale
Filet of Salmon, Seared with Anise, Dill and Tomato Vegetable Broth,
Served with Grilled Polenta and Vegetables 22
Penne alla Norma
Penne Pasta with Roasted Eggplant in a Spicy Tomato Sauce 14
Fettuccine al Gambero
Fettuccine Pasta Tossed with Jumbo Prawns, Oyster Mushrooms, Spinach, Tomatoes, in a light
Curry Cream Sauce, Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese 17
Cappelini Con il Pollo
Cappelini Pasta with Chicken, Porcini Mushrooms and Capers in a Light Sun-Dried Tomato
Cream Sauce, Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese 14
Gnocchi ai Funghi
Potato Dumplings with Wild Mushrooms, Brown Butter Sage in a Light Marinara sauce 14
Rigatoni di Parma
Rigatoni Pasta with Prosciutto, Gorgonzola Cheese and Spinach in a Light Sun-Dried Tomato
Cream Sauce, Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese 14
Fusilli Pasta with Carrots, Zucchini, Artichokes and Kalamata Olives in Fresh Tomato Sauce 14
Penne Con La Salsicce
Penne Pasta with Mild Spicy Italian Sausage and Mushrooms, in a Tomato Cream Sauce 15
Penne alla Carbonara
Penne Pasta with Pancetta, Onions and Peas in a Rich Egg Cream Sauce 14
Ravioli del Formaggio
Cheese Raviolis with Mushrooms and Sage Butter Sauce 15
Linguini Con Pettini di Mare
Linguini Pasta with Sea Scallops and Mussels in a Light Cream
Sun-dried Tomato Sauce 22
Fettuccine alla Puttanesca
Fettuccine Pasta with Salmon, Calamari, Prawns, Olives, Capers,
in a mild Spicy Tomato Sauce 19
All Entrées Served with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Pine nuts, Raisins
and Sautéed Garlic Vegetables
Gamberoni alla Diavola
Jumbo Prawns Sautéed with Roasted Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
and Onion in a Spicy Garlic Tomato Sauce 17
Pollo al Vino Rosso
Chicken Breast Stuffed with Pancetta, Sage and Provolone Cheese
in a Chianti Wine Sauce 15
Chicken Breast Braised with Peas and Kalamata Olives With
Marsala Wine and Cream Sauce 15
Costoletta di Maiale
Marinated, Flame Grilled Pork Chop Stuffed with Prosciutto,
Romano and Provolone Cheese 19
Vitellina con Porcini
Provini Veal Sautéed with Porcini Mushrooms and White Wine Sauce 19
Provini Veal with Prosciutto, Sage and Provolone Cheese 19
Chopped Provini Veal with Porcini Mushrooms and Béchamel Sauce 19
Polpettone alla La Finestra
“ Meat Loaf “ Ground Beef, Ground Italian Sausage, Prosciutto di Parma, topped with Tomato
Cream Sauce 17
Melanzane alla Parmigiana
Thinly Sliced, Grilled Eggplant Baked in a Tomato Sauce with Provolone, Romano and Parmesan
|100 Lafayette Circle Suite 101
Lafayette. CA 94549
Tel: (925) 284-5282
Polenta alla Contadina
Note -- Chef Jeff does not use exact measuring cup-type measurements. He cooks more by feel, tossing in a handful of this and a pinch of that …
and the result is fabulous. I’ve tried to use measurements here, for our readers, but if you wish to taste the recipe exactly as he cooks it,
it is really best to take a night on the town and dine at La Finestra!
1 cup polenta (enriched cornmeal)
3 cups water
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon crumbled “sweet” gorgonzola cheese
(gorgonzola aged approximately 3 months)
Pinch salt and pepper
Heat water to boiling, add cream and gorgonzola cheese. Slowly add polenta, stirring or whisking all the while. Reduce heat to low and continue to
cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often. When very thick, turn into greased dish, such as a bread pan, until set. Chill until ready to use.
Then slice into ¾ inch slices, approximately 3 inches square. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to use.
Wild Mushroom Sauce
1-2 tablespoons oil
(7/8 canola oil, and 1/8 olive oil)
3 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced (combination of fresh shitake and
oyster mushrooms and a little bit of dried porcini)
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
¼-1/3 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
½ -3/4 cup heavy cream (this is a guess … adjust as you see fit for your family!)
Preheat a frying pan to very hot. Add oil, then garlic and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms begin to brown, stirring or tossing occasionally.
Add sun dried tomatoes, heat and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add parsley and cream.
Cook until just until slightly thickened. Spoon over grilled polenta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.