Thursday, June 08, 2006

Italian Food One Last Time - For Awhile

Over the past few weeks I had the chance to dine at two more Italian restaurants. (Yes I've been on an Italian kick and I need to move on.)

The first, A16, has gotten rave reviews. I concur. Excellent wine list. Superb first courses; although, the grilled fava beans in the pod did not work. Terrific thin crust pizzas. We were pleasantly surprised that the restaurant was not overwhelmingly loud. I highly recommend A16. It's just too bad that reservations are usually needed as this would be a great place to just drop in on the spur of the moment. For visitors to San Francisco, A16 is very convenient if you are staying on motel row on Lombard Street. Otherwise, you'll need to take a taxi from Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf to get here.

The second, Vivande Porta Via, is a restaurant in Pacific Heights that we frequented with some regularity a few years back. Then we just drifted away for no particular reason. While the pastas we had were all good, they were not terrific. The appetizers were tasty, but not as finely prepared as A16's. I still recommend Vivande for those who find themselves on Fillmore Street, but it is not worth traveling from downtown to get here.

"Zagat" lists the following San Francisco Italian restaurants as their tops for food: Quince, Acquerello, Delfina, Tommaso's, Albona, Sociale, Incanto, Pesce, Antica Trattoria, Venticello, Ristorante Bacco, A16, and Parma. (The last 5 are tied with 23 points.) I have been to all in recent years except Tommaso's, a pizza joint in North Beach that I have not been to in years, and Parma, which I have never visited. I have no qualms with the list; although, I might reorder it. What I find interesting about the list is that only Tommaso's is in North Beach - San Francisco's Italian neighborhood - and only A16 and Tommasos feature food from the south of Italy.

So this is the last word on Italian food in San Francisco for awhile. Maybe I'll summarize French restaurants in the near future.

If you want to take a private, custom tour of San Francisco that visits the neighborhoods where these restaurants are located, call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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