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Il Cantuccio, San Francisco - Have you eaten here?

Il Cantuccio, San Francisco - Have you eaten here?

Feb 6th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Il Cantuccio, San Francisco - Have you eaten here?

Hello, San Francisco Fodorites!

It's me again - with my ever expanding waitline!

Have you ever eaten at Il Cantuccio? What would you recommend there? Is there a better restaurant? Have car, will travel anywhere in SF for a good dinner! ><

I have friends coming in from the East Coast and belatedly we got around to deciding on a restaurant.

The conversation went somewhat like this: "...we'll have to make reservations, it being a Friday night. What kind of food would you like?"

"Oh, anything, we're easy. DH just doesn't want to go to ... type of restaurant."

"OK, then, help me narrow it down. Choose a continent."

"A continent? Well, how about Italian?"

So, I called Delfina's and they are full up until 9:30 tonight. We have to dine between 6:30 and 7:30 - I know, really bad time as far as getting anything open. What are our chances if we just go at 6:30 and try to be seated at the bar? Would we have to wait two hours?

Il Cantuccio came up in citysearch as the second most recommended Italian restaurant (by diners), but it seems a bit small and not quite a place I would take out-of-town visitors. Or am I wrong in this?

On the other hand, Acquerello is a bit too formal. Delfina would have been perfect - sigh!

Any other great Italian restaurant that'll give them memories to take home? BTW, she's originally from Boston, so Italian food is not unfamiliar territory for them.

Any help you can give will be wonderful! Fodorites have been so great at suggesting restaurants before! My stomach thanks you very much!

easytraveler is offline  
Feb 6th, 2004, 09:31 AM
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easytraveler is offline  
Feb 6th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
I remember a thread here started by Koshka about Il Cartoccio on Hyde between Bush and Sutter. I never been there, but many locals said it's the best kept secret. Do you know how to search?
FainaAgain is offline  
Feb 6th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,360
I have not been to Il Cantuccio.
My favorite Italian place is Antica, which is on Polk near Green or Union. It's definitely not a red sauce/Sicilian type place, although there are menu items which fit that description. Lots of seasonal stuff, always hard to choose what I want at Antica! The last time I was there I had monkfish, braised with some Savoy cabbage and pancetta. I split a dessert of rose-flavored ice cream (homemade) which came strewn with rose petals. It was decadent. It was good.
dovima is offline  
Feb 6th, 2004, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,614
Hi easytraveler--I have had some luck just waiting at Delfina's for a seat at the bar but I must confess I usually go with a friend who is a regular so this probably contributes to the luck. Never eaten at Il Cantuccio--never been mentioned by my foodie friends either. A word of caution, if you don't mind, I have found to my dismay that my idea of perfect Italian i.e. Delfina's does not always fit with others idea of great Italian, because for them that means Italian/American which as you know Delfina's is not. With that in mind, two places come to mind in addition to Antica, which I also like, Bacco and Incanto in Noe Valley.
SAB is offline  
Feb 6th, 2004, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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easytraveler: I, too, am a Delfina's fan (oh, those sandabs). However, we have become very enamored of Ristorante Milano on Pacific with inexpensive parking at the drug store at Polk. Just tell them you are going to Milano. Great food, wonderful service, a little tight (but very much like restaurants in Italy). Gracious, friendly owner.
If you want to get ahead of the curve, try Quince at Octavia and Bush. Spectacular California/ Mediterranean. Won't be long before you will wait weeks to get into this one. Have a great time in my home city.
joegri is offline  
Feb 6th, 2004, 02:01 PM
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Grazie tantissimi, tutte!

The Fodorite foodies come through again!

This is what I plan to do: stop at Delfina's first and see if we can be seated.

If not, go to Antica.

If not, go to Incanto.

If not, go to ?????

No reservations and nobody is answering the phone between lunch and dinner, so will have to wing it!

Wish me luck! >-

Have to leave now to avoid the traffic! See ya!
easytraveler is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 07:42 AM
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Posts: 17,106
My most heartfelt thanks again to all who made their recommendations!><

Without reservations, we finally ended up at Incanto (long story, won't bore you here!). The food was superb! We started out with the Antipasto platter and one person monopolized the one and only whole roasted garlic all the while declaring it to be delicious! Lo! Then we had Trenette which had a lot of added ingredients and was almost like a rice pilaf in having raisins and other goodies imbedded within the trenette (teeny weeny little pasta). We moved on to a wonderful "local Petrale sole", seared just right and falling off the bone. For wine, we choose the "mystery three" and were rewarded with marvellous choices from the sommelier, including an incomparable Rosso di Montalcino, 2001. The only slight disappointment was the dessert: one great, two OK, and nothing for the fourth person.

The most pleasant surprise was their "house-filtered" water, so refreshing and free! They specialize in oranic produce, hormone-free meat, and fresh seafood. Great, great place!

Thanks again to all for your recommendations! I can't wait to try out your other suggestions - hopefully with reservations!

easytraveler is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,614
Glad you liked the place, easy. Came over here to this nice civilized thread after reading yet another troll filled thread -- that gets so tiresome although I think I'm in very good company being accused of being you and PamSF and johncharles (who IMHO writes some of the loveliest posts), and so on.
SAB is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 06:06 PM
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Hi, SAB!

Sitting here, sipping my pre-dinner kir and just heard the sportscaster (Channel 4) talking about Stanford's incredible basketball team placing second nationally.

"Anywhere else in the country, they'd be going crazy (over this record); here (in the Bay Area), we worry more about the opening of a new restaurant..." That's us, all right!

Yes, that brunello was sooo great! Still thinking about it!

Thanks again! I have such a wonderful list of restaurants to try!

You are absolutely correct, it's a bit of a bore. I'm kinda new around here, but was a lurker before and remember an enormous brouhaha last year before I started posting. Otherwise than laughing at the crazy posts, I feel a bit sorry for the innocents who come into this forum asking innocent questions and getting all this craziness! LOL!

johncharles name doesn't ring a bell, but I'll look out for his posts.

Thanks again, SAB! Get yourself some kir, it might make you feel better!


easytraveler is offline  
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