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.
1512 Stockton StSan Francisco, CA 94133
From Business: Since 1970 when Lorenzo Petroni and Bruno Orsi founded San Francisco's 1 Italian restaurant renowned for its authentic Tuscan cuisine, NORTH BEACH RESTAURANT has …
Mescolanza is a small, intimate, little, neighborhood, mom-and-pop restaurant that serves Italian food located on Clement Street between 23rd and 24th Avenues. It's discreetly tucked under a small pink awning. It's my favorite restaurant in my neighborhood and I've been going there for 20 years! Please note, parking on the Clement Street corridor is difficult (almost as bad as North Beach) but there is a parking lot directly across the street from the restaurant (as Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing!"). This restaurant is small and seats only 49 patrons at one time so be sure to make reservations. My favorite appetizers are the Carpaccio and Bruschetta. The plate of Carpaccio is presented with extremely thinly sliced beef draped on the plate. There are small mounds of capers, chopped red onions, shaved Parmesan cheese, and mustard paste. Mix all the ingredients and enjoy! The Bruschetta is toasted french bread topped with a delicious sprinkling of chopped Roma tomatoes mixed with fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. In this day and age of almost tasteless tomatoes (inbreeding is never a good thing), the tomatoes in this dish are ripe, packed full of flavor, and fill your mouth with a burst of flavor. The Pear Pizza (Yeah, I know, it sounds kind of strange but darling, it's divine intervention on a plate.) You have got to try this! The Osso Bucco was excellent. The meat was very tender and flavorful in its rich burgundy-like sauce. I loved the vegetables and that's saying something for a meat eater like me. The vegetables were carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash done just right in that perfect combination of buttery, tender and crunchy at the same time. We had a veal chop off the "Specials Menu" that was sauteed in its own juices with a blend of slow-cooked root vegetables surrounding it. It came with silky, creamy mashed potatoes that had a hint of garlic flavor and a serving of the vegetable combination I spoke of earlier. Once again, excellent! We had the creme caramel, the tiramisu and the chocolate flan with amaretto and crushed amaretti cookies. The tiramisu and creme caramel were as expected, delicious. That chocolate flan was EXCEPTIONAL! Sinfully, silky smooth texture on a bed of crushed cookies with the hint of amaretto flavors. While we ate all the desserts, the chocolate flan won hands down.
I've known Henry for over 20 years and his food is still the best for price, taste, and portions. He cooks anything and everything you can think of from breakfast to dinner and take out. In the past 5 years we've been coming to San Francisco from Honolulu for the Bay To Breakers Run/Race in May and I introduced my friends to Little Henry's and they can't get enough. If you're on a budget, you can't beat this place. The atmosphere is very family oriented and like you read in other reviews, even the SFPD frequent this restaurant. Henry's a very humble Vietnamese who moved to S.F. and made a name for himself. There was a very good article written about his move to S.F. and made and are still making a life for his family who all works there. I always bring him a care package from Honolulu for Henry and his family to show our appreciation of his hospitality. Like I said I know him for over 20 years and he's still the greatest host. Little Henry's is the best kept secret in San Francisco. For those who gave him a negative review, stick to your uppity restaurants where you spend so much for so little. Little Henry's will never break your bank. He's really a good guy with good family morals and a friend for life.....Mahalo, Henry, your friend, Maka......
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.
The service is among one of the most excellent in all of the restaurants I have tried in my life! Wonderful, accommodating servers. It's a beautiful, light ambiance, quite sophisticated but don't feel overwhelmed! It's actually quite down to earth since it's in the middle of many tourist attractions. The view of the ocean is beautiful and you can see Alcatraz from a distance. As for the food, I was quite surprised to find that the fish and chips exceeded the usual quality of a typical fish and chips order. The bread bowl soups are okay and the salad selection quality depends on your order! I had clam linguine pasta and it was really good. My complaint, however, is that this place has small portion sizes. I was still satisfied at the end of the meal but I'm glad I ordered appetizers and a to go pizza. Speaking of those, the vegetarian pizza was delicious and one of the best pizzas I've had. I also have to give a shoutouts to the delectable calamari appetizers! They were quite tender with the perfect crunch. Overall, this place is reasonably priced and I will definitely be coming back.
If you’re looking for the real deal, delicious, homemade, authentic Italian food, look no further than Trattoria Pinocchio! I have had many friends and family refer me to Trattoria Pinocchio and I finally went for the first time a couple months ago and it's now my favorite Italian restaurant by far! I live down the peninsula about 40 minutes south, but it's definitely worth the drive! I now refer everyone I talk to, to this fabulous restaurant. Not only is the food out of this world delicious, but the decor is beautiful Tuscan inspired and ambiance is fun and inviting! The prices are reasonable as well...especially for the quality of the food. Let me tell you I have eaten at many other Italian restaurants in North Beach over the years with comparable prices and by far Trattoria Pinocchio takes the cake...or should I say tiramisu...which by the way they make homemade and it is extraordinary! My favorite dish is the home made Italian sausage ravioli with the porcini cream sauce...yum!!!
I stumbled upon this place three years ago and will make any excuse to go back. The restaurant is flat out beautiful. there's indoor and heated outdoor seating, a variety of italian music playing in the background, not to mention to full bar and big screen tv to watch some REAL football. I was surprised that a lot of the pastas are made at the restaurant and thoroughly impressed with their fluffy potato gnocchi. Their veal lasagna had me thinking about my mom's cooking, homemade and full of love. Also they have a special menu that changes every two weeks or so. The waiters are always friendly, polite, and most usually foreign eye candy as well ;) Their wine list is huge, and while it can be intimidating, the wait staff is more than happy to help you in selecting the perfect wine to suit your meal, whether that be a premium pasta dish, a specialty pizza, or even a tender veal dish. There's something for everyone and hopefully you're lucky enough to hear the owner sing Italian ballads.
Victor's makes a fantastic thin crust pizza! After trying many different pizzarias, the best pizza I've had in San Francisco has come from them. Since I fairly close, I order from them regularly. Unfortunately, Victor's pizza can be very inconsistent. Sometimes it's perfect (20%), sometimes very good (40%), and sometimes it's just plain disappointing (40%). Recently I've had to start asking for the pizza to be cooked well done, as we've gotten quite a few limp pizza. The last pizza I we ordered from them was plain cold, so cold that I will stop ordering delivery from them and will start walking to pick up the pizza. I really wish they'd improve their delivery and consistency. If those were fxied, Victor's could be the best pizzaria in the city. Oh, and if you want to eat at the restaurant, Victor's is quite drab and outdated. I suggest finding something with an ambience.
Amarena has the coolest vibe for an Italian restaurant. While it can be a little noisy (table are fairly close), the space its self is warm and open. Lots of nearby parking, it was stress free to arrive and get settled. The wait staff was SPOT ON, always there when you needed them, never when you didnt. Spectacular wine list, prices for all budgets. The food selection is varied, and usually involves some seasonal pickings. They also do some tapas (the calamari was a favorite with our group). For dinner we sampled Butternut squash Ravioli and the Lack of Ramb, both scrumptious and fairly portioned. Dessert? Creme Brule'. All in all it was a good dining experience.
What can I say about this place? Amazing Italian food, gorgeous ocean view, kind and friendly waiter. I wish I had gotten his name, but whoever you are, you rock! Customer service levels were on point. Fancy yet casual place. You can have wine tastings (I think), there were a bunch of elderly people with different wines on their table. Interesting concept; food restaurant service with wine tastings. Came here during a very, very busy time. Wait time took about 30-50 minutes, and surprisingly, that was the shortest wait time out of all the places we looked at, that's what brought me here. Was it worth it? For the food, yes.