I'll be visiting a friend in the Bay Area in a couple of months and we plan an eating spree. As a transplanted Southern Californian now living in New Orleans, one of the foods I'm craving is wonderful Italian, not available here. What are the best Italian restaurants in the city these days -- and I don't mean red sauce or alfredo, which is about all we can get in NO. I'm looking for wonderful pasta, gnocchi, polenta, grilled stuff, fresh ingredients --or whatever the progressive Italian restaurants are doing these days.
I am sure I have mentioned the place before, but here we go again:
La Villa Poppi
It's on 22nd between Valencia and Mission.
Full disclosure: The chef/owner, Greg Sweeting, is a cousin of my boss, which is why I ever got to know the place.
My experience is that if you don't want to have a meal of multiple courses, you miss out here. Greg recognized this, I think, and recently changed to a prix fixe. The menu is short, but based on what you describe looking for, you will not be disapointed. I have raved about the place to family ever since it opened. My younger brother, after spending a summer in Perugia, visited me and we went for dinner. His reaction was along the lines of "I know you said the food was as good as in Italy, but I didn't know you meant the food was as good as in Italy."
The menu choices usually consist of a salad or two, one soup, a few pastas, one each poultry, fish, and meat, and a dessert. Shortish wine list. Tuscan style bread. See review attached.