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Italian Restaurant

Italian Restaurant

Barzotto, San Francisco

Barzotto, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Cheap Awesome Pasta! Barzotto is a casual pasta focused restaurant in the San Francisco Mission District. Our son dined there and recommended it, so we had to check it out. Best part of this spot is there is no need to reserve in advance.  Arizmendi Bakery is next door!

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SPQR Restaurant Review, San Francisco

SPQR Restaurant Review, San Francisco

SPQR is an Italian osteria, located in Pacific Heights, that serves wine and more casual food than their popular sister restaurant A16 in the Marina district. According to Wikipedia, “SPQR is an initialism from a Latin phrase, Senatus Populusque Romanus (“The Senate and the People of Rome” or “The Senate and Roman People”), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic”. Executive Chef, Matthew Accarrino, prepares “sophisticated, yet soulful, Italian cuisine using the best local ingredients, traditional and modern cooking techniques delivered in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.” Our last visit for take-out

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Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

Tonys Pizza Napoletana San Francisco exterior decor

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is a popular San Francisco North Beach restaurant from Tony Gemignani, 9 time Champion Pizza Tosser, certified pizziaolo. It first opened in 2009. He also runs a the International School of Pizza next door. He is well qualified to make a great authentic pizza! Also part of his empire, the “to go” oriented Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Slice House next door, Slice house at Oracle Park, and Italian Restaurant Capo.

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Che Fico, San Francisco

Chez Fico San Francisco Exterior decor

Great Eats in the City. Why did we dine here? – Che Fico (Kay-Feeco) means what a fig – is a new Jewish Italian restaurant in San Francisco that has garnered a lot of hype. There is a long line queuing up for unreserved tables everyday. It has fallen to 3.5 Yelp stars, but we still wanted to try it out. On our last visit in Winter 2019, there were still lines before it opened!

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Napoletana Pizzeria, Mountain View

Napoletana pizzeria Mountain View exterior decor

Napoletana Pizzeria is a new Naples style pizzeria in Mountain View. This unlikely strip mall location (Next to Cost Plus World Market), houses a low key, authentic thin crust Neapolitan pizza place. We first learned about this place from a thread on Chowhound. As the waitress put it, these authentic pizzas cook for about 90 seconds in their 900° wood burning oven. Our last visit was Summer 2019.

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Delfina Review, San Francisco

Delfina San Francisco Exterior Decor

Since 1998, Delfina, a bustling neighborhood Italian trattoria has been packing them in. The menu changes daily and they use organic produce and sustain-ably raised meats and fish whenever possible. It is a popular place that requires advanced booking for a reservation or showing up at 530pm for a table at the counter or bar. Our last visit was in the summer of 2019 where we found it as busy as ever.

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Barbuzzo, Philadelphia


Barbuzzo is a listed as a Mediterranean, Pizza restaurant on Yelp but seems to have an Italian slant too. We would call it a high quality pizza and pasta place and more. We were visiting Philadelphia and stayed a block away in the City Center area. We chose this 4.5 star restaurant based on proximity, reviews, and prices. Prices would be 50% higher in San Francisco.

Menu

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Vesta, Redwood City

Vesta Redwood City exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Top Italian on the Peninsula! Vesta is a California Italian restaurant in downtown Redwood City. They tried to support local and organic suppliers. It has an extremely high 4.5 stars on Yelp and was mentioned in San Francisco magazine as having great pizza. These two facts were enough to pique our interest. We finally got a chance to try them at the end of 2013 and returned in 2019.

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Montesacro Pinseria-Enoteca, San Francisco

Montesacro Pinseria San Francisco Exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Montesacro is a hidden Italian gem, located in an alley right off a hardcore scary block of 6th Street in downtown San Francisco. The name comes from a neighborhood in Roma. We were tipped off about this place from a friend. Gianluca Legrottaglie, who runs nearby 54 Mint, opened this stylish restaurant, that transports you back to Rome, in 2015.

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Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco – Burlingame

Delicious Italian around the Bay. Pizzeria Delfina is the lower cost more casual eatery next to top rated Delfina. They do not take reservations and focus on ‘Neapolitan inspired’, thin crust pizzas and Antipasti. Delfina does not serve pizza. They use local, seasonal ingredients and have a lots of wines by the glass.  There are 2 location in San Francisco – Mission and Pacific Heights. In 2018 we dined several times at the Burlingame location.

Pizzeria Delfina San Francisco Interior

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Perbacco, San Francisco

Perbacco San Francisco exterior decor

One of our favorite Italian restaurants in San Francisco. Perbacco is a popular Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s financial district that opened in 2006. We had been to their sister restaurant next door Barbacco recently, and felt it was high time that we came back to Perbacco. Chef Staffan Terje focuses on Piemontese, Ligurian, and Venetian regional Italian dishes. “Perbacco” translated is an Italian word to accentuate positive comments. Our last visit was at the end of 2018.

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Osteria Morini, New York City

Osteria Morini New York exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Really good Italian in SoHo. Osteria Morini is Michael White’s Soho more casual Italian restaurant (Marea, Alto, Vaucluse, Convivio and Ai Fiori) was near our hotel. We debated coming here, as our experience at 2 Michelin Star Marea was not good. Lucikly this spot was not only way cheaper, but way better. Really good starters, pasta and dessert.

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Angelini Osteria, Los Angeles

Angelini Osteria Los Angeles exterior decor.JPG

Better Italian than SF? Why did we dine here? – Angelini Osteria has long been dubbed the best Italian restaurant in LA. We finally made time to dine at this small, cozy restaurant near the end of 2016. Yes, we did see a celebrity dining there. Our timing allowed us to catch them when Truffles were all over the menu! (Big$$)

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Il Fornaio Review

Il Fornaio Interior 3

Il Fornaio (The Baker in Italian) is an Italian restaurant serving “creatively prepared, premium-quality Italian cuisine based on authentic regional Italian recipes.” They have 21 locations, many in California. They have been around since 1972, initially starting as a baking school. Now they are owned by a Private Equity group, no doubt trying to squeeze out profits.

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Stella Alpina Osteria, Burlingame

Stella Alpina Burlingame exterior decor

Gnocchi and Salmon to die for. Stella Alpina Osteria is a small Italian restaurant located a block from the main Burlingame Avenue shopping area. Located below ground level, most people would never know it was here. The restaurant opened in May 2005, and was featured on PBS’ Check Please TV show. This was our 3rd time dining here.

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Babbo, New York City

Babbo New York exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Babbo is celebrity chef Mario Batali’s and Joe Bastianich’s flagship restaurant serving regional Italian classics. How could we pass up trying his Italian food? We had never been to one of his restaurants and figured he better know how to cook his native food. Alas he was not in the house. This place is very busy, with them asking Opentable reservations to call and get a token. They received 1 Michelin star in 2016.

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Locanda Positano, San Carlos

Why did we dine here? – Locanda Positano is the sister restaurant to now closed Acqua Pazza in San Mateo and has received some high accolades on Yelp. We were in the area, love Italian food, and decided to give them a try.

Locanda means inn, in Italian. Positano is a scenic town hugging the Amalfi coast of Southern Italy. We’ve visited there but did not have a meal. Our last visit was in Spring 2017, where we found service had fallen.

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Ristorante Milano, San Francisco

Ristorante Milano San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Ristorante Milano is a long time neighborhood gem of an Italian restaurant situated on Russian Hill in San Francisco. We had not been here for decades and decided it was time to return and see how their food compared to other Italian restaurants in the City.

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Cotogna, San Francisco

Cotogna San Francisco exterior decor

Cotogna (meaning ‘quince’ in Italian), offers a seasonally-changing menu featuring spit-roasted or grilled meats and game birds, wood-oven pizzas, house-made pastas, fresh local fish and seafood, salads, salami and cheeses in the warm atmosphere of the restaurant’s refined urban design. This is the sister restaurant to Quince, which is located next door. Our last visit was in the Summer of 2016.

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8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Shanghai

Incredible Italian in Shanghai

8 1 2 otto e mezzo bombana Shanghai exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana is the sister restaurant to their Hong Kong location. They have been awarded 3 Michelin Stars in Hong Kong. We were getting sick of several weeks of Chinese food during our Asia trip and decided it was time for something different. Being huge fans of Italian food, we went for the number one bet.

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Seven Hills Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Seven Hills San Francisco Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Seven Hills is a quaint neighborhood restaurant in San Francisco’s Russian Hill. We used to live nearby, had heard all the rave reviews, and finally had an excuse to dine there. They proudly list the various local suppliers they use on their website.
Michael Bauer gave it a 2.5 star, Very good rating in 2013. A high 4.5 stars on Yelp.

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Donato Enoteca Restaurant Review, Redwood City

Donato Enoteca Restaurant Review, Redwood City

Donato Enoteca is an Italian Restaurant in downtown Redwood City, located right next to City Hall. They serve modern Italian focusing on fresh, simple ingredients, and focusing on the chef’s Donata Scotti (formerly of La Strada) Northern Italian roots. Our last visit for dinner outside in 2020 during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

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Osteria Stellina Restaurant Review, Point Reyes Station

Osteria Stellina Point Reyes Station exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Osteria Stellina is an Italian restaurant Point Reyes Station, just outside beautiful Point Reyes. This tiny town is lucky to have such a high end restaurant. They focus on farm to table dining with lots of local and seasonal ingredients. We’ve read about this restaurant and have passed by many times, but finally dined here.

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Osteria Coppa, San Mateo

Unfortunately, Osteria Coppa Closed in June 2016.

Osteria Coppa San Mateo exterior

Osteria Coppa is a new restaurant from the owners of Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay located in the former Pomaroma Cafe location. Osteria in Italian means a place where the owner “hosts” people or an Italian-style eating establishment. They are focusing on artisan pizza and pasta along with a variety of other authentic Italian dishes using local and seasonal ingredients. Seafood is sustainably-fished and the meats we use are antibiotic free. This mirrors places like Pizzaiolo in Oakland, Flour and Water in San Francisco. Founding Executive chef of Osteria Coppa is rising star Chanan Kamen, formerly of Quince, but he left a couple years ago for Mexico. His proteges continue turning out the menu. Our last visit was in 2016.

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2012 Rome Restaurant Reviews

Coliseum Rome Italy

We recently finished up our culinary tour of Rome in the Summer of 2012. It was interesting to see how authentic Italian food and restaurants in Rome compare to the ones we have in the San Francisco Bay Area. Below are several Roman restaurants we dined at.

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2012 Sorrento, Italy Restaurant Reviews

We recently finished up our culinary tour of Sorrento in the Summer of 2012. This is a very touristy area, one of those classic challenges for foodies. Avoiding a tourist trap is very difficult. Below are several restaurants in and around Sorrento that we dined at.

RE Foods

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Ristorante Quadri Review, Venice, Italy

Ristorante Quadri Venice St Mark Square

Why did we dine here? – Quadri is a popular restaurant that overlooks St. Marks Square in Venice, Italy. We chose this relatively new restaurant because of its convenient location and the fact that it had one Michelin star. This restaurant has stunning decor which blends Italian style with modern sensibility. With a view of St. Marks square, you can watch all the action while dining on some of the best food in Venice. Our focus was on seafood, as Venice is known for fresh food from the sea. Considering the amount of water around here… This restaurant was a major splurge! It was our only meal in Venice.

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A16 Restaurant Review, San Francisco

A16 San Francisco Exterior Decor

Opened in 2004, A16 has since been present on many top Italian restaurant lists. It is a very popular restaurant in the Marina district, with prime time reservations needing to be booked a week or two in advance. This restaurant is serious about wine and pairing. Our last visit was in the summer of 2012.

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Gioia Pizzeria Review, Berkeley and San Francisco

Gioia Pizzeria Berkeley Exterior

Gioia is a top rated Pizza place in North Berkeley.  It has been there since 2004. As they put it: “Gioia Pizzeria takes the best of pizza traditions from the old world and the new. Classic flavors and ingredients such as artisanally made sausage, fresh mozzarella cheese and arugula come together in inspired traditional ways, seasoned with the influence of Bay Area kitchens such as Zuni Café, Chez Panisse and Oliveto” Gioia is a small hole in the wall with minimal counter seating. The place specializes in thin crust pizza and is known for local, organic ingredients. It was rated as a top pizza place by Michael Bauer. Our last visit was in late 2011 and we noticed prices had gone up. Their San Francisco location opened in 2012, we dined here in May 2012. It is located right next door to burger heaven, Polkers.

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Gialina Pizzeria San Francisco Restaurant Review

Gialina San Francisco Exterior Decor

Gialina Pizzeria is a small pizzeria named after the chef-owner’s grandmother. It is opened in January 2007 and is located in San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood right near BART. Chef Sharon Ardiana has help positions at well respected places including Lime, Dine, Garibaldis, Slow Club, and Boulevard. Her next restaurant, Ragazza in the Metro Kathmandu space on Divisadero, is their sister restaurant.

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Poggio Restaurant Review, Sausalito

Poggio Restaurant Sausalito Exterior Decor

Poggio is an Italian trattoria Restaurant situated in the Casa Madrona Hotel, right on the main touristy street of Sausalito. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They focus on Northern Italian cuisine using local ingredients, sustainable products, and property-grown organic herbs and vegetables. The founder Larry Mindel has a long history with restaurants including Ciao, Prego, and Il Fornaio. Peter McNee is the executive chef. Our last visit was at the beginning of 2012.

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Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Tonys Coal Fired Pizza and Slice House San Francisco exterior decor

Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House is a new San Francisco North Beach takeout place from Tony Gemignani, 9 time Champion Pizza Tosser, certified pizziaolo. He also runs Tony’s Pizza Napoletana next door. This location serves a wide range of food; New York-style pizza, Roman-style pizza, Chicago-style Italian Beef Sandwiches, and New York deli sandwiches. Our last visit was in September 2012.

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La Ciccia Restaurant Review, San Francisco

La Ciccia San Francisco exterior decor

Excellent food in Noe Valley. La Ciccia is an intimate restaurant located in San Francisco’s Noe Valley that focuses on food from Sardinia, especially seafood. The husband and wife team operate this popular and homey restaurant.
The restaurant was featured on Check please in 2008.

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