Italian | San Francisco | Tony's Top Ten05 Dec 2013 09:37 am

This one makes my Top Ten!

Chef/Owner Sergio Giusti brings his home cooking knowledge from a small town near Firenze – and his food is some of the best Italian food I have eaten outside of Italy. He spent time in Chicago for years and knows all of the better Chicago Italian restaurants and their chefs (La Scarola, Piccolo Sogno, Bruna’s, Coco Pazzo, etc.) – I am sorry he left Chicago!

This small, noisy restaurant in a happening part of San Francisco (you definitely need a reservation most nights) has an exciting ambiance (more like a New York spot) Рbut why not go where the in-crowd goes? One of his specialties is gnocchi with a light cream tomato sauce Рthe gnocchi melt in your mouth. The roast chicken is perfectly prepared with the right spices and tenderness. The Veal Saltimbocca Alla Romano was tender with just the right amount of prosciutto and fontina cheese.

Salt alert: none needed here – Sergio does not mask the flavor of his cooking with too much salt – what a concept.

Next time I will have the Malanzane Alla Leonardo Da Vinci – my quest for the best Malanzane continues.

Wine list is thorough but not ridiculous; nice Barbera de Alba and Dolcetta de Alba choices along with other great Italian wines.

Also, the prices are very reasonable.

1429 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 392-8585
Firenze by Night website

California | San Francisco08 Jan 2006 10:31 am

The original in San Francisco is a garlic lover’s paradise – garlic in everything, even in the ice cream if you choose (not me – I prefer hot fudge). I have not had a dish here which I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. The starter of baked garlic/oil to accompany the bread is almost reason enough to stop here. I am partial to the garlic meatloaf and garlic mashed (smashed would imply too much eclecticness) potatoes. Wine choices are fair as well as the pours.

Their “gift shop” has some very unusual garlic-themed items. During my first visit I finished half a bottle of pickled garlic before bed time – WOW!

325 Columbus Avenue (near Broadway)
San Francisco, CA
(415) 781-7673
www.thestinkingrose.com

California | Italian | San Francisco01 Jan 2006 05:42 pm

The North Beach neighborhood in San Francisco has a multitude of good Italian restaurants – and Rose Pistola came highly recommended by a midwestern visitor – thanks for the recommendation.

Our lunch consisted of several appetizers (though the meal was just this last October I failed to note the choices); also Italian wines by the glass from an interesting selection from many regions.

Next time I’ll take notes and make specific recommendations.

532 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 399-0499