Saturday, October 29, 2011

Alla Romana

San Francisco, October 28, 2011—
THE ETERNAL CITY — Rome — is among my very favorite cities for dining. There's nothing really like it, and most Italian restaurants in our country certainly fall short. But Locanda, in San Francisco's Mission district, makes a plausible attempt at Rome's inimitably simple-but-sophisticated cuisine.

Not that I really know: I only hazarded three courses. But the carciofa alla giudia was pretty authentic, and made memorable by the chiffonade of mint flavoring the soft, delectable artichoke. My pasta caccio e pepe was dressed with a pungent Pecorino and nicely peppered, though I did think the pepper unnecessarily exotic and single-varietal in flavor (a nit-picker's complaint, I admit). Dessert was a fine pine-nut tart with fior di latte gelato on the side, my favorite; and afterward I had a small chunk of perfect robiola with carta da musica bread, brown-buttered, and blackberry marmelade on the side. Delizioso.
A good Martini; then Malvasia, Carso, Edi Kante, 2008
• Locanda, 557 Valencia St., San Francisco, (415) 863-6800

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