Journal del Pacifico interview with
Chef Angelo Dal Bon
Tre Galline / Caffe Todos Santos
As of May 1st, Tre Galline will be sharing space with Caffé Todos Santos on calle Centenario in the historic district. Caffé Todos Santos, called “the café” by locals, will be serving fresh ground coffee, hearty breakfasts, and baked goods in the mornings; with a variety of lunch options, salads, and Mexican fare until 5 pm.
In the evenings, the staff of Tre Galline will transform the location’s patio and indoor dining space. In a casually-elegant atmosphere of subdued lighting and linens, they will be serving the Italian favorites of Tre Galline. In addition to Tre Galline’s regular menu of homemade pastas, and fresh seafood and meats, their pizzería will be open every evening. For that after-dinner or late-night treat, Magda’s repostería will delight customers with her specialty dessert creations. Bravissimo! It sounds like a match made in heaven to us.
At Tre Galline, Angelo’s signature dish is the exquisite “Amatriciana de Mar”: homemade bucatihia noodles served with a light, creamy sauce of fresh egg and topped with smoked tuna and roe. Another delicacy is Tre Galline’s handmade raviolis, with fillings such as lobster, spinach, smoked tuna, or the dulce sweet potato with a touch of amaretto. Daily specials include fresh seafood, and organic chicken, lamb, or pork.
Caffé Todos Santos is known for their cakes, freshly-baked breads, and their special blend of coffee. Lunchtime favorites include large sandwiches (on homemade bread) and salads. Also on the menu are traditional Mexican breakfast and lunch dishes; as well as not-so-traditional dishes, such as the chicken curry flautas.
Both Tre Galline and Caffé Todos Santos have a full bar, in addition to a nice selection of both Baja and Italian red and white wines.
Every chef has his or her own style, traditions, and methods. Angelo loves to experiment with fusion, using different flavors and ingredients available locally to create unique combinations. He has “one foot fixed firmly in tradition, and one foot open to experimentation.” His experience this past summer opening a new restaurant–Tre Galline de Vale, in the wine country near Ensenada–introduced him to ingredients and wines available in the north. He has brought some of these tastes back to his kitchen in Todos Santos. Locally, both Magda and Angelo have been enjoying the abundance of fresh strawberries and blueberries grown in the Todos Santos and Pescadero areas. They both believe in using local products, from within 100 km if possible.
Angelo was inspired by the slow-food movement in Italy—the flavors of handmade salamis, prosciuttos, olive oils, and cheeses. Good quality extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano-reggiano are essential ingredients in Italian cooking, but Angelo stresses that no one olive oil is for all uses. In his kitchen, he has three olive oils: one for cooking; one for salads; and one for a stronger, spicy toca of flavor.
Angelo believes that the smallest details are the most important. When one of his platos leaves the kitchen, it is seasoned perfectly.
Wine and Food Pairing Recommendations
When Angelo moved to Baja California Sur, he assumed that people would drink more white wine than red due to the prevalence of seafood served. What he found was that there are no rules here!
Angelo prefers white wine with fish, but suggests that if one wishes to pair a red wine with fish, choose a young, fresh, fruitier wine rather than an older, full-bodied, heavier wine.
Looking forward to a certain wine, such as a Nebbiolo? Pair it with meats or cheeses; it also combines well with parmesan. Vegetarians can pair it with pasta, like ravioli with spinach.
During the hot months, one can cool red wines, but it will reduce the flavor and parfum. Opt for a fresher wine that works well with the temperature. Trying new dishes is also an opportunity for trying new wine and flavor combinations. Angelo or his friendly staff can make recommendations.
Angelo Dal Bon is a third-generation chef. His grandmother opened their family restaurant in Northern Italy in 1950. His mother was the second chef in the family, and today his sisters run the restaurant. Angelo studied to be an accountant, but started working in the family restaurant after graduation. He has continued working as a chef to this day. Magda worked with Angelo and his sisters for 10 years, then went on to open her own very successful restaurant.
In 2004, Magda moved her restaurant to a magical location–a 16th century Italian villa on Lake Garda. On November 24th, after being open only 54 days, disaster struck. A 5.3 mb earthquake hit their town and the villa was split in two. It had to be demolished. When Magda recovered from the shock and heartache, she realized that the earthquake had opened a new door in their lives. She decided that they should start over and open a new restaurant in Baja California Sur, where they had enjoyed visiting since 1992.
Angelo and Magda packed up all their restaurant equipment and furniture, and shipped them to Mexico. After exploring several towns in Baja California Sur, they choose Todos Santos, and settled here in 2005. The doors to Tre Galline, their Italian restaurant, opened in February, 2006. They purchased Caffé Todos Santos in October of 2009. Angelo and Magda’s son, Constantio (named for Angelo’s grandmother), now lives in Todos Santos and works with them at both Caffé Todos Santos and Tre Galline.
This past summer, Angelo opened Tre Galline del Vale Guadalupe at the Villa Monte Fiori vineyard, in the wine country outside of Ensenada in Baja California. It is located at km 9.8 on Carretera El Porvenir. It will be open again for the season June 15 through October 15, 2014.
1989 Slow Food Movement Manefesto
2000 The James Beard Foundation
Caffe Todos Santos
Casual indoor, sidewalk, and patio dining. Serving breakfast and lunch. Fresh coffee, bread and baked goods, and traditional Mexican fare. Full bar.
Located on calle Centenario between Topete and Obregon in the historic district. Open 7 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. Tel. 612 145 0300.
Casual but elegant indoor and patio dining. Serving upscale Italian dinner, pizza, and delicious desserts. Full bar and wine list. Available for special events and weddings. Pizza available for takeout. Mastercard and Visa accepted. Reservations recommended.
Located on calle Centenario between Topete and Obregon in the historic district. Open 5 to 10 pm, 7 days a week. Tel. 612 145 0300.