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Flour + Water Lives up to the Hype

[rating: 4.5]

If you've lived in the City in the last couple of years, you've probably heard that Flour + Water is kind of a big deal. With endless praise from local critics, a Beard nomination under its belt, and a young, good-looking executive chef (Thomas McNaughton, named one San Francisco's Rising Stars by Star Chefs), Flour + Water has clearly built quite the reputation. Plus, it has a cool name.

The problem is, because of its reputation, this small neighborhood restaurant has quickly become one of the most popular in the City. Nowadays it's nearly impossible to pop in for even a weekday dinner without having to wait 45-90 minutes for a table. Hell, even Steve Jobs was recently told he had to wait, or come back another time. Lacking a full bar and only offering eager diners an uncomfortable "waiting" area that holds roughly six people, waiting this long for a casual dinner frankly seems like a joke. So, no matter how good the food may be, it's going to be hard for any diner to overcome the expectations that come along with both the hype and the wait....Continue Reading

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Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe - a Haughty, Long-Winded Way to Say "We Serve Awesome Focaccia Sandwiches"

[rating: 5]

For weeks after dining at Mario's, a North Beach stand-by that sits on the park, I was agonizing over my decision to award it 4 or 5 stars. After much pacing, and a fair amount of blood and tears, it finally hit me: their specialty hot focaccia sandwich(es) have become the end-all be-all sandwich to which I compare all other sandwiches. In the last couple of weeks, every time I eat a sandwich (which seems to be fairly frequently at the moment), I catch myself saying, "It's good, but it's not as good as Mario's." Apparently, Mario's has set the upper limit of my sandwich scale, and if that's not reason enough to give this place 5 stars, I don't know what is...

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SPQR: A San Francisco Restaurant That's Always in Season

[rating: 5]

In my last article, written not too long ago, I asked enduring question, "SPQR u seriously this good?" and six months later I'm happy to report, SPQR is seriously this good. I know it has been a short time since I last reviewed this restaurant, but because I believe that it is truly a shining example of culinary innovation and refined, modern cuisine in the Bay Area, it’s hard to avoid talking about it. What has led me to place this restaurant amongst this country’s finest? Chef Accarrino’s unique approach to cooking, the philosophy behind the food he serves, is the primary reason for my complete and utter infatuation with SPQR...Continue Reading

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Pomp and Circumstance at Acquerello? Hey! I Thought this was Supposed to be Italian!

[rating: 3.5]

Never having been treated to a full tasting menu (+ wine pairing) at an upscale Italian restaurant, I was quite excited to finally get in touch with my Italian roots and try (what I had heard to be) the best in this field in SF. While parts of the dinner were outstanding, my overall impression was that the food was very hit and miss...

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Incanto Round 2 - the Head to Tail Review

[rating: 4]

As I remarked in my last article on Incanto, I was excited to attend their annual Head to Tail dinner to find out just how delicious the seemingly foul parts of animals can truly be. If I wasn't 100% convinced by my first visit, after being exposed to the sweet, sweet goodness of innards at this meal, I'm officially on Incanto's offal bandwagon...Continue Reading

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Incanto Brings the Guts, You Bring the Courage

[rating: 3.8]

Bird brain, pork tongue, and tuna heart, oh my!

If you haven’t already heard, Incanto’s Chef Cosentino is known for bringing attention to what most people think of as the “undesirable” parts of an animal by basically throwing them in the diner’s face. The menu is splattered with all sorts of offal, ranging from the tame (sweetbreads) to the extreme (slow-cooked duck head, split in half). Sure, since Cosentino is a proponent of using all parts of the animal there are still plenty of options for the not-so-daring diner: duck leg, sardines, pasta with pork ragu, etc… But, if you’re looking to throw caution to the wind and challenge your preconceived notions of what’s edible and appetizing, Incanto is your spot...

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"SPQR U Seriously This Good?" Updated - A More Detailed Review

[review: 5]

The many years of hopelessly searching for an upscale Italian restaurant to rival Delfina finally led me to the doorstep of SPQR. Actually, because the entrance is so nondescript, I walked by the place two times, in the rain, before realizing it was what I was searching for. But, when I walked in, I knew I was in for an amazing experience...Continue Reading< /strong>

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Pesce - a Cut Above Your Average Neighborhood Italian


Okay you know the scene in the Godfather when Michael assassinates Sollozzo in the Italian restaurant? As soon as I walked into Pesce I felt like I was in a similar scene. Well, minus the white table cloths and the getting shot in the head part. This is a tile floored, wooden walled, no frills, neighborhood Italian joint that is taking a spin on "family style" by serving seafood tapas instead of giant platters of baked ziti. And it works...Continue Reading

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