Along the historic stretch of the cable car line infused California Street in Downtown SF between Front and Battery exists a throng of fine restaurant choices one can select from. My job is to make sure that people enjoy themselves, their meal and a range of wine selections to compliment a gourmet filet or fish entree. Once that piece is out of the way, the tone set, we get down to business discussing different ways to reduce expenditures from an IT infrastructure standpoint. So I look for places that are going to make me look good. I’ve been to the fine establishments such as Aqua (when it was around) and Tadich in the same block, but my adventurous side beckoned me to try something new. And so, like the matriarch stomping up dust and leading the herd in Botswana, I led a group of five into the unknown demesne of Perbacco that I had only read about online. “Hello,” the hostess said. “Reservation?” I smiled, said, “I was just telling these five guys behind me how much better your monkfish is as compared to those guys next door.” “So, no reservation,” she said with a smile. “Give me one second.” I turned to the guys, offered a wink to indicate things were under control. The waitress returned, cradling a clipboard like an infant in one arm. “I’ll have a table for you in fifteen. Perhaps your friends would care for a drink at the bar while you wait?” Like Jack Colton trimming down overgrown stalks in the Amazon with a machete in, “Romancing the Stone,” I carved a path through the uber trendy Thursday night dinner crowd, wiggled my elbow passed the backs of two women in cocktail dresses to the bar top. I ordered six Prosecco’s to accommodate a toast, stole a glance from the beauty to right peering subtly over her shoulder and held out my glass to my group. “To good health and a hearty appetite.” We clanked flutes. In under 13 minutes, the hostess found me again and we were seated. We laughed, told stories, ordered bottle after fantastic bottle, devoured appetizers, entrees, risotto and eventually even conducted a little business. Whether or not I will ever make a reservation here is not something I can answer. But because Perbacco succeeded in making me look good, I can tell you there is a 100% probability that I will be taking another group here in the near future . Their service is superb, the food and wine uncontended. Five stars.
We started off with the burrata cheese with white corn and heirloom tomato and it was amazing. Then again, isn't anything with burrata amazing? Then we had the raviolo with spinach, truffles, and a farm egg, which was also incredible. My boyfriend also had the veal tartare, but I'm one of those weirdo vegetarians so I passed on that. The menu has an option to share either two or three different pastas amongst the whole table, so we opted to share three. I chose the truffle-herb ricotta gnocchi and the pesto pasta with potatoes and summer squash, and he chose the agnolotti dal plin. The gnocchi was good, but I wasn't blown away like I had hoped. The pesto was not good at all - very bland. I make better pesto at home with my magic bullet and no recipes. I think my boyfriend also had the scallops. I was so full, but we had to get dessert too (we just had to), so we had the panna cotta with raspberry granita and lemon verbena. It was SO delicious. I would definitely come back, but the restaurant was kind of loud, so maybe not on a date. Would be a great place for a business dinner or a night out with friends.
MY STEPDAD WAS THE OWNER OF THIS RESTAURANT HE RECENTLY PASSED AWAY DECEMBER 17TH 2009. hE ALWAYS TRIED TO KEEP HIS CUSTOMERS HAPPY AND TRIED TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS THE FAVORITE FOODS FOR A PLACE.....HE WAS ALWAYS THERE TO GREET YOU AND WAS VERY OUTGOING AND FUN......NOW IT'S NOT THE SAME.....WALKING INTO THAT PLACE FOR ME FEELS EMPTY NOW THAT HE IS GONE......NO ONE CAN RUN THAT BUSINESS LIKE HE DID. THE BARTENDER IS NICE AS WELL.....FOR THE PERSON THAT CANT WRITE, IT IS A SPAIN BASED RESTAURANT HAVE YOU TRIED THE PAELLA FROM THERE....IT'S GREAT......IT HIS OTHER ITEMS THAT MAY NOT BE SPANISH BUT THAT'S CAUSE HE PUT ON THE MENU WHAT PEOPLE WANTED.....EL VALENCIANO WAS A GREAT RESTAURANT ALL THANKS TO MY DAD. REST IN PEACE MISS YOU!