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Bobby Lehmkuhl & Danielle Dutcher's Blog

By Bobby LehmKuhl | Broker in 90265

Godmother Cafe to Open for Dinner and Sunday Brunch

Chef Chris Bocchino, formerly chef/owner of Terra Restaurant, is partnering with Dolores Rivellino, owner of The Godmother of Malibu Cafe, to add Sunday brunch and dinner to The Godmother, located at the Malibu Racquet Club. 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 Savory  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.




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