Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Best Italian Restaurant in San Francisco

Over the years, I have eaten at many of the Italian restaurants in San Francisco. But I never made it to Acquerello, an extremely well-reviewed restaurant in Polk Gulch. Last Saturday night I did.

Acquerello is definitely, in my opinion, the best Italian restaurant in the City. Of course, you pay for it. Dinner for two, including tax and gratuity, was $200.

Nowhere on the menu is pasta with red sauce, so you need to think of Italian cuisine in the same light as upscale French cuisine. The extensive list of Italian and California wines will certainly contain one or more wines you will enjoy.

I had the five-course tasting menu and my wife picked from the regular menu. From the "Chef's Surprise" of an asparagus soup, through the sea bass carpaccio, raviolis, guinea hen, and semifreddo, everything was superb. Each course was paired with an interesting Italian wine. I have gotten into dessert wines over the past year or so, and particularly enjoyed the Muscato di Asti. My wife had the freshest mozzarella we have ever tasted. It was air expressed from southern Italy directly to the restaurant. Her duck was delicious. Since she had three fewer courses than I did, our friendly and knowledgeable server brought her a "Chef's Surprise". We were able to share the pasta and dessert courses so she didn't feel too left out.

Acquerello is located at 1722 Sacramento Street (between Polk and Van Ness). The restaurant is open nightly, except Sunday and Monday. Reservations may be made by calling (415) 567-5432 or though Open Table.

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