It's been a bit since my last Where & What - but I've kept mental notes about all the incredible restaurants I need to share with you - and we've added them all to the Restaurant Search & our Apps for you too. Here are some notes on the favorite places I've been lately - I've been lucky enough to share some amazing meals with some of the most fabulous people I know - there's just nothing like perfect food & perfect company, right?
Pig Part Perfection at Incanto -
My expectations were pretty high for Incanto, the Dante-laden San Francisco restaurant of Chef Chris Cosentino - the man behind Boccalone, where I regularly drag my friends for a Meat Cone & a Dry Soda in the Ferry Building. Four friends & I selected wines to try from the Italian-heavy list, and the next two hours were filled with amazing service, lots of laughter, house-marinated olives, house-made salumi, fresh sardines, California yellowtail, the single-best obscenely-good pork dish any of us had ever had, and desserts we thought we didn't think we had room for until we tried them.
A New Wine Country Favorite - Angèle
One of my favorite maneuvers is calling a local for foodie 411, and when I was told that I "should absolutely get to Angèle" because I would love it, I gave them a call. Was it going to be a problem that I'm Gluten & Almond Free? Absolutely not - in fact, the Chef's wife is Gluten Free too. Brilliant. So I hopped in a cab with a friend who had by now learned that I have no real sense of travel-times, nor am I much help navigating in towns where I usually taste wine instead of drive - and we headed over, and got to choose between a patio overlooking the Napa River or a cozy interior with a vaulted natural wood exposed-beam ceiling. (Did you know I'm a sucker for exposed-beam ceilings? I am.) I sneaked a look at the dessert menu first - Valrhona Chocolate Pot de Crème? Did someone tell them it's my Pot de Crème year? It was fabulous - and that was after a wild salmon tartare, pork shoulder with honey-roasted peaches, and short ribs that made my non-foodie companion make a total food-porn face. Get yourself to Napa, and let me know if you need winery recommendations.
Pizza & Beer that Restored my Faith in Humanity - Tony's Pizza Napoletana
As a foodie, the hardest thing for me has been adjusting some of my standards to fit my Gluten Free life - fine dining, which I love, is usually not the issue. Things get challenging in the areas that seem more simple: pizza, hot wings, cupcakes, street food, hot dogs + beer at ballgames (G-Free in section 112 at AT&T Park, Go Giants) which I may love even more.
I had recently survived a really GF bad pizza crust moment, so I headed to Tony's in Little Italy with my parents & daughter, cautiously optimistic but not stoked. We were greeted by Robvell the bar manager - we like to sit at the bar and meet random people - who immediately bonded with my kiddo and poured her a Shirley Temple with 2 cherries & an orange (LOVE waitstaff that treats kids like humans!) He explained that the G-Free pizza is made in a separate workspace, and cooked in it's own oven. Then he asked if I wanted a beer. "Redbridge?" (It's almost always Redbridge, and I understand that. I'll just order something else instead, thanks.) Robvell gave me a look that said he knew exactly why I was asking, and put a Estrella Damm Daura down in front of me. And now I love him. The pizza was fabulous, so good my supportive-but-brutally-honest-about-GFfood father ate two pieces and drank part of my beer. My daughter asked if we could move to San Francisco, so Robvell & Tony gave her some salted caramel gelato. I'm currently considering her request.