Sergio’s serving up some serious seafood

By: Art Garcia Telegraph Correspondent
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While two other midtown eateries moved, or are in the process of moving, one new eatery is thriving. Sergio Mirabelli sees midtown differently. He and his wife, Francesca, moved into Visconti’s former location on upper East Bidwell in November to open their Sergio’s Steak & Seafood Italian restaurant. They couldn’t be happier. The restaurant is across from the Department of Motor Vehicles and a laundry in the Central Business District. “We love it,” said Sergio Mirabelli, “especially this part of town. It’s a little older but the people are a little bit nicer. It’s fantastic, fantastic.” The Mirabellis previously owned a restaurant in San Ramon for 10 years in the East Bay and one in Berkeley. They moved in with Francesca’s parents in El Dorado Hills until recently moving in to their own home in Folsom. “I love her,” Sergio said of his mother-in-law, as much as he loves the restaurant business. Sergio’s offers traditional Italian cuisine, plus seafood and wild game, including one of its more popular dishes, wild boar, as well as buffalo and game birds. “My family were hunters and we know how to cook game,” he said. The seafood dishes primarily are the creations of executive chef Antonio Selvaggio, a native of Sicily. Sergio, who lived in the Basilicata region of southern Italy until he was 11 and then in Florence, is in charge of the meats. Francesca, born in San Francisco, usually greets guests at the door, takes care of menu changes, marketing and raising their daughter. The couple met in Italy in 1992 and married in 1993 in San Francisco’s North Beach Italian neighborhood. Sergio, 41, studied English at the California English Academia. The first Sergio’s Trattoria opened in Oakland in 1995, with Sergio in charge of the kitchen and Francesca running the front of the store. Sergio’s seats 99. As for portion sizes, “No one ever left here hungry,” he said. Lunch is served weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served daily from 4-10:30 p.m. An early-bird dinner seating is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, when wine from the wine list is $3 a glass and a main course with soup or salad and dessert is $16.95. Veal piccata is priced at $17.95, fettucine, ravioli and lasagna are $12.95 each, osso buco, $20.95. “We enjoy Folsom very much. We should have moved here many years ago,” Sergio said. “If I knew it was this nice, this town, I’d have moved here 10 years ago and not even blinked.” * * * SHOP TALK What: Sergio’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant Where: 322 E. Bidwell St., Folsom Hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 4-10:30 p.m. daily Owners: Sergio and Francesca Mirabelli Info: (916) 983-4300,