Thursday, November 7, 2013

Show Dogs; A16

San Francisco and Oakland, November 6, 2013, —
LUNCH IN THE CITY, and this is what I Facebooked:
Good dog, decent red, nice part of town. Pick two. Just kidding.
We'd walked a couple of blocks of the Tenderloin from our car, parked on the street, and that's not the pleasantest stretch of urbanity. Show Dogs is at the corner of Market and Taylor, mid-Market, and that's not the pleasantest stretch of urbanity either. But, hey, we all gotta live however we can, and Show Dogs is making it a whole lot more pleasant. I had the boar sausage in a good bun with mustard and a catsup of poached cherries and a scattering of arugula; Lindsey had the Italian pork, with truffle aïoli, mustard, tomato, and arugula. All this stuff — mustard, catsup, and sausage — is made in house.

The place is run, I believe, by the folks from Foreign Cinema, and it shows: the food is delicious, the vibe casual buy somehow both indulgent and smart, the politics right. Show Dogs reminds me of Kees Elfring's Worst, in Amsterdam, and it's a lot closer, and we're glad it's there.
good Merlot, hefty glass
Show Dogs, 1020 Market Street, San Francisco; 415.558.9560
chard.jpgDINNER ACROSS THE BAY with a couple of old friends in the second-noisiest restaurant we've suffered this year: the dB meter hovered at 90 much of the time. But we suffered it gladly, because the food was amazingly delicious, the service friendly and attentive. I began with a plate of Swiss chard, sautéed with garlic and little chunks of preserved lemon — what a fine idea! — and a goodsized double handful of house-made taralli, half flavored with fennel, the other with black pepper.

chicken.jpgNext, roast chicken — a half pullet, I'd say — roasted with pancetta and served on a bed of broccoli di ciccio, pleasantly bitter and rich. The chicken was robust, perhaps a tad underdone but succulent, the skin very nicely flavored — they use good salt in this place, I think.

A16 is a new Eastbay outpost of the well-known restaurant of the same name in San Francisco, also noisy as I recall — we haven't been there in years; you can only get to so many places, fondly as you recall them. The cuisine concentrates on southern Italy and the wine list is outstanding. This is a great addition to the Rockridge scene; judging by last night — only a Wednesday, after all — it's already a big favorite.
Falanghina, crisp and delicate, then perfect with the chard and its lemon; Cannonau from Sardegna, both wines by the (inexpensive!) glass, don't know the details (couldn't photograph the wine list: too dark)
• A16, 5356 College Ave, Oakland,(510) 768-8003


Curtis Faville said...

We've eaten at A16 twice since it opened.

We've sat at the bar both times, and had our meal there.

This space has gone through several iterations recently, not sure why this happens. I tend to think it's something to do with the location and lay-out, rather than some failure on the part of the preparation or presentation of the food. It's a combination of a whole set of factors--coziness, spaciousness, parking, light, fung shui, "atmmosphere," neighborhood, etc.

We found the food very good, but not state of the art.

We notice Charlie Trotter just died unexpectedly.

Charles Shere said...

For visitors who know neither A16 nor Charlie Trotter: the sad demise of the latter has nothing to do with the food at the former!