Montesacro ready to open East Bay’s first Roman-style pinseria

The long-anticipated pinsas are coming to Walnut Creek this weekend.

The owners of 54 Mint Forno have finished transforming the Italian bakery into a Roman comfort food restaurant, Montesacro, named for that city’s working-class neighborhood, and will fire up the ovens for the first customers Saturday evening.

Founder Gianluca Legrottaglie, who introduced U.S. diners to the concept of pinsa in 2015 in San Francisco and later Brooklyn, designed the new Walnut Creek space himself.

His farm-to-table Walnut Creek eatery will be the first pinseria in the East Bay. The ancient, pizza-like flatbread, made from soy, rice and heirloom wheat flour, gets dressed in seasonal ingredients from local farms and small producers in Italy.

The Walnut Creek lineup offers nine pinsas with toppers like house-made spicy pork sausage, stracciatella di burrata, tuna in extra virgin olive oil, crispy guanciale and Calabrian peppers. Also on the menu: Carbonara, Amatriciana and Cacio e Pepe pastas; secondi, or entrees, of Abbacchio Scottadito (cast-iron lamb chops), Bisteccone (ribeye steak for two) and a pesce of the day. The long antipasti list includes eggplant fritters, calamari, porchetta, braised tripe and risotto croquettes.

Brunch, served on weekends, features Eggs Benedict al Prosciutto with smoked mozzarella, a Frittata di Carciofi with roasted artichokes and a grass-fed Montesacro Burger on a house bun. (Note: Brunch service will begin on Sunday, the second day the restaurant’s in operation.)

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