The opening day of Montecatini was October 17, 1989, the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake in California. Since then, Montecatini Ristorante has become a spot of the authentic Italian dining experience in Walnut Creek, California. All their dishes are carefully made with the finest and freshest ingredients. Their pasta and bowls are served hot pipes from their kitchen to your table. Montecatini has won multiple awards over its 29 years of existence and is currently Diablo Magazine’s Best Italian Restaurant in SF East Bay 2018, and Walnut Creek Magazine’s Best Pasta, and Wine Spectator’s 2018 Award of Excellence for one of the “Most Excellent Wine Lists in the World”.
Their chef Ermes Paulin has been their executive chef since the opening day of the restaurant. Ermes, a real Italian chef, was born in Vicenza Italy and, at the age of 17, was classically educated in Italy at one of the finest culinary academy hotels in the world. Ermes is Montecatini’s heart and soul. You will find him at the restaurant almost every day, making the most delicious and reliably great dishes for all.
Their kitchen is situated in front of the restaurant where you can say hi to the chefs and see that your food is as new as it can be. For example, when you order their Parmigiana Aubergine, you can see their chef cut slices of the whole fresh eggplant after the order has been received. Their front-of-the-house workers are qualified to carry your ready-to-eat dishes to your table immediately within 30 seconds, if possible. They set a level of quality that they work hard to uphold at all times. To compliment your Montecatini dining experience, they have an extensive list of wines that highlight a range of great Italian and California wines. There are also twenty types of wines-by-glass every day. In addition, they have a full range of bars that includes over 100 brands of liquor and liqueurs. Guests will enjoy a glass of Happy Hour wine or full dinner service in their bar area while watching the local Bay Area sports team in action.
The philosophy of the restaurant is to provide consistent, wonderfully delicious Italian food, excellent drinks, and great service to any guest. They want you to have a great dining experience at Montecatini Ristorante, whether you’re dining with them for the first time, or their frequent customers who dine with them every week, year after year. From the moment you walk in until you say goodbye, they’re trying their best to make you feel like you’re number one.
Ermes Paulin, Chef-Owner, Montecatini Ristorante
Ermes was born in Vicenza, Italy, and left for Rome at the age of 17 to be trained as a chef. He received a full scholarship for his two-year thesis at the Enalc Hotel, one of the most prestigious culinary academy hotels in the world at the time. The Enalc Hotel, on the coast of Rome, was where the rich and popular “La Dolca Vita” lived and where young people, such as Ermes Paulin, learned their craft through studying in the culinary classroom, and immediately put that experience into practice in the hotel kitchen. After two years of hard work, those who graduated from the Enalc culinary program will fit into the best restaurants and hotels in the world.
Since then, Ermes has served at some of the world’s finest dining establishments in Rome, London, Ramsa, Sitmar’s Fairsea cruise ship, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
While working as a chef in London some 35 years ago, Chef Ermes Paulin was approached by an investor-restaurant to help open an Italian restaurant in San Diego, California. Ermes said, “Yes, yes! “Instantly. He stopped by the bookshop on his way home and looked up where San Diego was. Since moving to the United States, Ermes has been the executive chef of many California restaurants and has been a resident of the United States.
Chef Ermes Paulin opened Montecatini Ristorante on October 17, 1989, a few minutes before the 7.1 Loma Prieta Earthquake that ended Game 3 of the Oakland A vs SF Giants World Series. Ermes recalled that there were 26 customers that evening with Ray, then the owner, and some of the new Montecatini staff. Ray sold the restaurant to Kip Finn in 1995. At the end of 2013, Kip offered to sell the restaurant to his hard-working and talented cook. Early in 2014, Ermes became the owner-chef of Montecatini Ristorante. Ermes is committed unconditionally to his art and the restaurant, whether he is an employee or an owner. Throughout the years, he has been thorough in his kitchen activities, never cut corners, maintains high standards, and travels an extra mile to please the customer. Now that he is the master, he enjoys the enhanced value of his hard work and appreciates the encouragement and good wishes of all.
This wonderful must-see hidden gem is located in Downtown Walnut Creek, California, close to these others that you shouldn’t miss:
- Lesher Center for the Arts
- Walnut Creek Library – Contra Costa County Library
- Walnut Creek Yacht Club
- Apple Broadway Plaza
- The Container Store
- True Food Kitchen
- Philz Coffee
All of these wonderful locations are located just a short distance from our location located at 2890 North Main Street! Stop by for a visit anytime!