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Godmother Cafe to Open for Dinner and Sunday Brunch

Chef Chris Bocchino resurfaces to expand offerings at the popular eatery.

Chef Chris Bocchino, formerly chef/owner of Terra Restaurant, is partnering with Dolores Rivellino, owner of , to add Sunday brunch and dinner to The Godmother, located at the . Previously, The Godmother had been open only for lunch.

Bocchino's venture will be called Cal-Fresco at The Godmother, a nod to his penchant for serving California cuisine alfresco style. The Godmother's comfortable outdoor setting, surrounded by the mountains and with a view overlooking the nearby tennis courts, should be a perfect expression of his theme. 

Bocchino plans to serve brunch items such as almond brioche French toast, a goat cheese-asparagus scramble with fresh basil and veggie breakfast potatoes, a roasted vegetable salad with quinoa, a dry aged beef sirloin burger with caramelized onion and an artisan cheese board. Prices will range from about $10 to $15, with sides (chicken-apple sausage, fresh fruit, sour cream coffee cake) costing about $6. Sunday brunch will begin this Sunday. The hours will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For dinner, there might be house-made four-cheese ravioli in browned butter and fried sage, pan-seared sea scallops with a roasted corn and fava bean ragout, a marinated jidori chicken breast with bacon and leek mac and cheese or a double-cut korabuta pork chop with horseradish mashed potatoes and braised Tuscan kale. Prices range from about $8 for soup (The Godmother's famous tomato bisque) to $12 for salad and $12 to $28 for entrees including pasta and filet mignon. Dinner service begins Sept. 14 and will be Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Desserts will feature the recipes of Bocchino's wife Kristine, a professional pastry chef and general manager of  restaurant in Malibu. Her local roots include growing up in Paradise Cove; she and her husband live in Calabasas.

Bocchino, who has 20 years of professional experience in both corporate and individually owned restaurants, also did stints at two of the region's best eateries—Remi (executive chef), and Michael's (chef de cuisine), both located in Santa Monica. He was also chef de cuisine at MIXX in Sonoma County and executive chef at Whisper Lounge in Hollywood as well as a consultant for Falcon Restaurant & Lounge in Hollywood and Playa Cantina in Playa del Rey. He has also cooked in private homes.

Since leaving Terra in 2009 (his partner bought him out), he has run a gourmet food truck called Cal-Fresco, stationed last summer in the outdoor tasting room of Saddlerock and Semler Wines on Mulholland Highway.

At Terra, which closed early this year, he was known for growing many of the herbs he used at the restaurant, and he plans to do the same at Cal-Fresco at The Godmother. On the restaurant property, he is currently growing not only herbs, but also lots of veggies, including kale, pole beans, arugula, beets and purple carrots.

Both Bocchino and Rivellino say the partnership is a perfect pairing of like-minded food professionals. The Godmother remains open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You do not have to be a member of the racquet club to eat at The Godmother.

Cal-Fresco at The Godmother is located at the Malibu Racquet Club, 23847 Stuart Ranch Road. The phone number is 310-456-3254.

J. Flo September 07, 2011 at 04:24 AM
Definitely one of the best restaurants in Malibu and my favorite! Amazing food and now longer hours - wonderful!
Jonathan Friedman September 07, 2011 at 03:03 PM
A reminder that you DO NOT need to be a member of the racquet club to eat at The Godmother.
J. Flo September 10, 2011 at 08:11 PM
A group of us ate there this week (not members of the club) on the beautiful patio next to the fountain. Great food and service, friends, good company - life doesn't get any better! The Godmother's is a true find.
Kathie Ferbas December 04, 2011 at 06:15 PM
John and I went to Cal-Fresco last night--the food was SUBLIME. Don't let the cold and windy weather stop you--we ate indoors last night and it was perfect. Run don't walk,, and take a friend or 2 or 4. Thanks Chris for an amazing meal that I am still thinking about this morning.
Jane Bellomy December 04, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Delores's big personality and infectious laugh have endeared her to Malibu since The Godmother's beginning over in the Malibu Country Shops (across the way from Taverna Tony's) years ago.

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