One of Palo Alto's most anticipated openings in recent memory has arrived. Pizzeria Delfina is now open in the former Empire Tap Room in downtown. This is the second Peninsula outpost for Craig and Anne Stoll's popular duo of pizzerias in San Francisco, with the first expansion south opening late last year in Burlingame. The new dining room seats 50 diners and the bright space is full of light wood and seafaring blue tile inspired by Naples (like the pizza itself). Also noteworthy is the site's stunning patio that seats 70 and has often been considered the premier spot for al fresco dining in town, which remains the case with the new establishment. The patio tables are made from 1970s-era wine barrels from Robert Mondavi. The menu resembles that of the other pizzerias, anchored by 10 pizzas including the classic Panna with tomato sauce and cream, and the new Baccala with Maine salt cod and potato. A handful of starters, salads and vegetables including fried young fava beans and housemade tuna conserva are offered, along with four larger plates like the Fulton Valley chicken alla diavola. Gelato is made in-house, wines and craft beer hail from Northern California and Italy, and as a Pizzeria Delfina first, there is a full liquor license. That means you can finally enjoy a Negroni to open a Pizzeria Delfina meal.
651 Emerson St., Palo Alto; (650) 353-2208, pizzeriadelfina.com
South San Francisco
n Despite the enormous surge in craft breweries across the Bay Area in recent years, the Peninsula still has only seen a select few open locally. But that is all starting to change fast. The most recent new brewery announcement comes from none other than the former brewmaster of the long-established Gordon Biersch itself, based in Palo Alto. John Tucci is leaving the brewery after 16 years to open 47 Hill Brewing Company in South San Francisco. A late May or early summer opening is expected with plans calling for a tasting room and kitchen.
n One of the Peninsula's long-standing upscale Italian dining rooms has closed. After 24 years in San Mateo, Ristorante Capellini served its final meal last month. Known for its freshly made pasta and brick-oven-heated pizzas, Capellini became a local legend over its two-decade run. The owners of the historic 1920's building and the Pat Kuleto-designed dining room are looking for a new restaurant tenant. However, no exact reason has been given as to why Capellini had to close.
310 Baldwin Ave., San Mateo
Half Moon Bay
n Over on the coast, The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay's main dining room, Navio, has a new chef de cuisine. Kevin Tanaka, a native of Hawaii who joined Navio's kitchen staff as an intern in 2005, is now the top toque in charge of menu making, selecting suppliers and running the dinner service. Xavier Salomon will continue his role as the resort's executive chef and often consults with Tanaka on Navio's menus.
1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay; (650) 712-7040, http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/properties/halfmoonbay/dining/navio/default.htm#