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Che Fico, San Francisco

Chez Fico, San Francisco

Hot Spot 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. Prices have appreciated significantly during the pandemic.

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Flour + water Restaurant Review, San Francisco

flour + water Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Flour + Water is a wildly popular Italian restaurant in the Mission district of San Francisco. They focus on hand rolled pastas, house cured meats, and an Italian pizza oven. The chef, Thomas McNaughton is a veteran of La Folie, Gary Danko, Quince. They take reservations on rezy and reserve space for walk ins (Communal table), causing a line to form 20 min. before the place even opens.  Yelp rating has faded to 3.5 stars.

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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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Bestia, Los Angeles

Bestia Los Angeles Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – A big LA scene with impressive Italian food. Bestia (Italian for Beast) bubbled to the top of the possibilities when planning our LA must hit list. 4.5 stars on Yelp, recommended on the annual Jonathan Gold List, what more could you ask? We knew going into this that Bestia would be loud and exhibit a major LA scene. Last visit in Summer 2019.

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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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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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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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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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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 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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Barbacco, San Francisco

Barbacco Eno Trattoria San Francisco exterior decor

Barbacco Eno Trattoria is an Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s financial district that opened in early 2010. It is a lower-cost sister restaurant to next-door and well-regarded restaurant Perbacco. The focus is on food from all regions of Italy unlike Perbacco, which is focus on northern Italian. Michael Bauer initially gave Barbacco three stars or an excellent rating. Our last visit was in early 2015.

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