After serving Berkeley residents authentic Sicilian food for 25 years, Trattoria La Siciliana is closing its doors Sept. 31, as first reported by Berkeleyside.
Co-owner and chef Jerry D’Alo cited the COVID-19 pandemic and his parents’ old age as the reasons behind the decision to close Trattoria La Siciliana. However, both Trattoria’s spirit and menu will live on in Agrodolce Osteria, another D’Alo family restaurant located in Berkeley.
“Over here, we have more of a lounge-y, elegant feel,” said Angelo D’Alo, co-owner of Agrodolce Osteria. “We’re going to absorb the Trattoria vibe and make it ‘bumpier.’ … Instead of one closing, we’re making one better.”
Trattoria’s menu will still be available online, and customers will still be able to order from the website after the restaurant closes. However, these orders will be handled through Agrodolce, according to Jerry D’Alo.
In addition to some menu items shifting over, the staff from Trattoria will also be rehired at Agrodolce. Angelo D’Alo said the owners of both restaurants value their staff and want to help them succeed, adding that previous staff members have gone on to work for other prominent restaurants in the area as well as open their own.
Angelo D’Alo said the D’Alo family feels good about this change. He added that this shift will enable the family to expand Agrodolce’s menu, hours and other offerings and that it has a positive effect on the D’Alo family itself.
Some customers, such as Bay Area resident Chris Swigert, sung Trattoria’s praises.
“I love both the atmosphere and the food,” Swigert said in an email. “It feels similar to many small family restaurants you would find in Italy. The smaller space led to a sense of a vibrant intimacy and when full, there was a wonderful charm of food, wine and noisy fun.”
Trattoria regular Kai-Man Lee echoed this description and said the restaurant was “kind of part of Sicily.” Lee added that he has been going to Trattoria for 15 years and brought many friends there.
Customer Darwin Perdomo had not been to either Trattoria or Agrodolce prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having ordered food from both restaurants since the start of the pandemic, he said Agrodolce’s food was “bomb” while Trattoria’s was good but not as flavorful.
Lee noted a marked decline in Trattoria’s food when the D’Alo family opened Agrodolce. He said the ambiance was quieter at Agrodolce and that the meals cost more than they did at Trattoria.
“It used to be a great place as far as food, variety, authenticity and ambiance,” Lee said. “It’s too bad. I’m sorry to see them go.”