Sunday, April 22, 2012

Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants 2012: Part 3 of 3

Piccino

1001 Minnesota St. (at 22nd Street)
San Francisco
Tel. (415) 824-4224      
Map | www.piccinocafe.com
Before Piccino opened, few people, other than the area's residents, knew the Dogpatch neighborhood. Last year, owners Sher Rogat and Margherita Stewart Sagan moved the restaurant into much larger quarters in an old Victorian. They also lured MAC clothing into an adjoining space, developed a wine bar-shop called Dig, and opened Piccino coffee bar. The restaurant has become a destination for the Cal-Ital food produced by Rachel Sillcocks. Pizza, with a thin, golden and crisp crust, is at the heart of the menu, but Sillcocks creates some exceptional appetizers, salads, soups and a single large plate a night. Thanks to Piccino, Dogpatch is now on the culinary map.

Specialties: Pizza with mushrooms, stracchino and shaved garlic; pork and beef meatballs; pan-seared black cod with purple cauliflower.

Hours

Open continuously for lunch and dinner 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday;lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, dinner 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. Closed Monday.

Cuisines

  • Italian
  • Pizza

Features

  • Beer and wine
  • Corkage ($15)
  • Credit Cards: Accepted
  • Disabled Access
  • Parking: Street (Difficult during the day, easy at night.)
  • Seating (70)
  • Lunch (Tuesday-Sunday)
  • Reservations: Accepted

Chronicle Rating

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Price
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Quince

470 Pacific Ave. (near Montgomery)
San Francisco
Tel. (415) 775-8500      
Map | www.quincerestaurant.com
Opening the wildly popular Cotogna next door allowed Michael and Lindsay Tusk to further refine their elegant flagship restaurant. Pasta is always a standout, with combinations such as cappellacci filled with quail and served with flowering rapini, pine nuts and golden raisins. Other dishes are equally astounding. Lindsay Lindsay Tusk has reconfigured the elegant dining room, a warehouse-size space made intimate with dark wood and given sparkle with glittery chandeliers, by removing 15 seats; she also redecorated the lounge to make it more comfortable. While there's only a fixed-price menu in the restaurant, there are a la carte offerings in the lounge, including a Parmesan cheese tasting.

Specialties: Menu changes nightly.

Hours

Dinner 5-10 p.m. nightly.

Cuisines

  • California
  • Italian

Features

  • Corkage ($25)
  • Credit Cards: Accepted
  • Disabled Access
  • Full Bar
  • Bar Bites
  • Seating (65 (plus 10 at the bar, 16 in the lounge)
  • Reservations: Accepted

Chronicle Rating

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Price
Noise
Food
Service
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Sante

100 Boyes Blvd. (in hotel lobby)
Boyes Hot Springs
Tel. (707) 939-2415      
Map | www.fairmont.com/sonoma
As a hotel restaurant, Sante walks the line between elegant and casual, weighing the demands of Sonoma Mission Inn guests and those who come just to dine. Andrew Cain has done that masterfully with his upscale take on some familiar favorites such as his "grown up macaroni and cheese"; it mixes orecchiette with lobster, black truffles and Val d'Aosta fontina. The restaurant overlooks the swimming pool and has a casual spa-like air, but the tables are set for luxury. The restaurant features a three- or four-course menu, plus a chef's tasting menu; a la carte pricing is available on request. The impressive wine list, like the food, is locally sourced.

Specialties: Seasonal cheese selections (up to 30); seasonal offerings such as lamb with braised shoulder, and cannelloni with artichokes, carrots and white bean puree.

Hours

Dinner 6-9:30 p.m. nightly.

Cuisines

  • California
  • French

Features

  • Corkage ($25)
  • Credit Cards: Accepted
  • Disabled Access
  • Full Bar
  • High Chairs
  • Live music
  • Parking: Valet (Free at dinner)
  • Seating (120 (plus 20 on patio in the summer)
  • Reservations: Accepted

Chronicle Rating

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Price
Noise
Food
Service
Ambience



Zuni Cafe

1658 Market St. (near Franklin)
San Francisco
Tel. (415) 552-2522      
Map | www.zunicafe.com
Even after more than 30 years in business, this restaurant is the place to send people who want to be surrounded by the San Francisco ethos. The food has the clean but soulful notes one expects, attracting a wide range of diners including politicians, artists, celebrities, business executives and a good number of tourists. They all seem to casually mingle over oysters, Caesar salad and the wood-fired chicken prepared by Judy Rodgers and her crew. Insider's tip: Try the margarita. The interior has a rustic but dramatic loft-like feel so unique, it couldn't be duplicated anywhere else.

Specialties: Oysters; Caesar salad; polenta with mascarpone; house-cured anchovies; house-ground hamburger; wood oven-roasted whole chicken; espresso granita.

Hours

Tues-Sat 11:30 a.m.-midnight; Brunch Sun 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner Sun 5-11p.m.

Cuisines

  • California
  • Mediterranean

Features

  • Online Reservation
  • Credit Cards: Accepted
  • Delivery/Take out
  • Disabled Access
  • Full Bar
  • High Chairs
  • Open Late
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Parking: Valet ($10)
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Seating (100, plus 20 at bar)

Chronicle Rating

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Price
Noise
Food
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5 comments:

Etrusco-Umbro-Gallic said...

Joseph, time for you to pay homage to your Brescian fatherland.

You may know this, but the gunmaking tradition in Brescia goes back to the beginning of the gunpowder era. Heck, the Beretta company is about 3 centuries old.

Brescian gunmakers were coveted all over Europe, including Ottoman lands.

Check out this Albanian miquelet flintlock made by Sperandio Mutti:
http://www.ashokaarts.com/shop/greek-or-balkan-18th19th-century-musket

In general, Brescia is my favorite city/region in Lombardy and the whole Transpadania. They don't call it the lionness of Italy for no reason. Something very special about it.

Etrusco-Umbro-Gallic said...

Hey, you've seen the movie Gladiator, right?

Guess what? The character was partially inspired by Marcus Nonius Macrinus a Roman statesman born, in, you guessed it-------Brescia(Brixia,as it was known).

Camun said...

I never knew that. In the movie he was portrayed as a Spaniard/Celtiberian. I think I may have read that in Wikipedia, but never made the connection. Thanks.

Camun said...

Yes, I already added a few posts regarding Beretta on the other blog:
http://camonica-club.blogspot.com/2008/12/beretta-firearms-pure-lombard-steel.html
I use that blog to post Lombard/Brescian/Camunian/Heathen interests..

In 'Family and Public life in Bresica 1580-1650', I was surprised to read that Brescia produced so many goods and agricultural products to so many places. Of course, much of that was due to being a province of the Venetian Republic.

Camun said...

You may also be interested in the following posts:

“Patihi, Patahé!” The Camuni of Brescia in Monongahela City: Part I
http://camonica-club.blogspot.com/2011/10/patihi-patahe-camuni-of-brescia-in.html

“Patihi, Patahé!” The Camuni of Brescia in Monongahela City: Part II
http://camonica-club.blogspot.com/2011/10/patihi-patahe-camuni-of-brescia-in_25.html

“Patihi, Patahé!” The Camuni of Brescia in Monongahela City: Part III
http://camonica-club.blogspot.com/2011/10/patihi-patahe-camuni-of-brescia-in_6614.html