Tuesday, May 08, 2007


1550 Church St. (& Duncan)
(415) 641-4500

Italian in Noe Valley

I've never really had faith in San Francisco's Italian selection, since most of the places I have been to before this have been so-so or bad. But of course, there are a lot of restaurants I haven't been to that are supposed to be good, but I just haven't checked them out yet because I've been trying to not eat out so often (which explains that lack of restaurant reviews as of late). However, I decided to go to Incanto on a whim, and I was pleasantly surprised.

First of all, I really like Noe Valley. It's a cute area that's close to the Mission and the Castro, and it's a great neighborhood to walk around in. Secondly, it was surprisingly easy to get a day-of reservation here for a party of 4 on a Friday night at 7pm! I don't know if that's good or bad, but I was very surprised (that's prime eating time... maybe more so on a Saturday, but still). The service was ok (not great, not bad, but normal), and the ambience was nice. The big windows let in a lot of natural lighting.

The Food:
- to start, we had the handkerchief pasta: the pasta itself (i.e. the noodles) was cooked perfectly. The sauce was nothing special - a ground pork red sauce that I could probably make myself.
- I had the braised pork shoulder with rhubarb and fava beans. I say any meat that you can eat without a knife is always a good indicator for tenderness. I'm not a huge fan of rhubarb, but altogether, it was a good complement to the savory (a little too sweet for my taste though).
- My sister and her fiancee had the roasted lamb, which was ginormous. It was a little too hickory-tasting that it kind of threw me off.
- for dessert, we had a bay leaf panna cotta with strawberries drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I'm more of a dessert snob that anything else, and I must say that this was a thumbs up for me. Simple and clean, this dessert was the perfect ending to a light dinner on a warm day. Bay leaves and fruit just go really well together (top chef anyone?).

We also got a bottle of red wine (sorry, I don't know anything about wine, but it was similar to a pinot) which I liked, but I'm easy to please when it comes to wine. This place is known for it's wine list, but I can't really vouch for that. All in all, this restaurant is great for a light dinner.

No comments: