Design Dish: Osteria Moto


Can a lightening strike twice? If you’re talking about Osteria Moto, the Italian restaurant in Eldorado Hills, the answer is yes.

Photos by Nicolette Lovell

When Los Angeles’s popular Osteria LaBuca reopened after a renovation in 2011, regular customer were intrigued. What improvements could have been made? The classically dark and rustic spot, it was now sleek, and modern with a design — and furniture — from Brendan Ravenhill Studio. The inviting setting now matched the simple, fresh and seasonal food and sturdy wine list.

Eight years later Osteria LaBuca is still going strong and Studio Brendan Ravenhill has matured into a formidable lighting and design house. So owner Stephen Sakulsky was betting on a sure thing when he decided to replicate the formula in Sacramento. Italian-influenced menu? Check. Reasonable price point? Check. Chef Andy Chavez at the helm? Check. Design by Brendan Ravenhill Studio? Check.

In the same way that the menu focuses on seasonal and unique ingredients, Ravenhill relied on local, unheralded materials to anchor the restaurant to its location, while ensuring that it felt both unique and timeless. That meant Alderwood, a light hardwood with rich, warm tones; limestone tabletops; leather and linen cushions; and brass accents. A rhythm of light and shadow are used to underscore the restaurant’s warmth and conviviality. While an open layout and clerestory windows flood the space with light, built-in seating and custom light fixtures help define distinct, inviting and intimate areas, from a communal table for waiting patrons, to the large, inviting bar, and cozy banquettes.

Patrons of the restaurant’s southern sister will be happy. Settle in for their starters while you decide what to order — crispy brussel sprouts topped with a poached egg, pecorino and an anchovy vinagrette; grilled octopus with chili and mint; and pork meatballs are some of the favorites that have made the trip north. So have the pastas — cacio e Pepe, bucatini carbonara and nero spaghetti. Don’t forget to order one of their speciality cocktails. Sip on it while you settle in, take a look around and get to know the place. Chances are you’ll become a regular too.

Osteria Mozza, El Dorado Hills Town Center, 4364 Town Center Blvd, #124, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762, (916) 573-6200