Someone mentioned an "upscale" Italian place in the Bay area called Aquarello or something to that effect. Unfortunately, as an Oregonian, I've never heard of it. Has anyone heard of it or any Italian restaurant with a similar name?
re: Rochelle McCune
I've eaten there several times, and had an excellent experience every time. The place is expensive, and fairly small. The food is excellent northern Italian and a very extensive wine list. The last time I was there, about a year ago I had a pasta with a wild boar ragout sauce that was as delicious as it was unusual. I think the place is a great special occasion restaurant with very attentive service to go with the outstanding food. I think the wine list has a Wine Spectator award of Excellence.
I think I'm splitting hairs here but I'd say Acquerello's delicate food is extremely good but not out of this world. Just ate there about 3 months ago - I was immensely happy and satisfied, but not blown away. I would eat there again, but I'm not dying to go back.
The service was excellent. It's a very quiet, dignified restaurant set in soft colors. The lovely dining room might have once been a church of some sort.
In summary, I'd say that It's worthwhile for a special occasion when you want to get away from the crowded noisy scenes to have a relaxing and well paced dinner. The peace alone is worth the price of admission in such a case.
There were a couple of threads on this place in the archives. Do a search for Acquerello on the homepage. I've included a link to my post about this place below.
A few years ago, Wine Spectator named Aquerello as one of the top 10 Italian restaurants in the U.S. It is that good. Oliveto in Oakland also made that list.
Aquerello is a lovely place with great food and service. It is expensive. Wine corkage is $30 a bottle!
As others have said, Acquerello is a great special occasion restaurant. It's expensive but (I thought) wonderful, and has a very peaceful atmosphere.
If you go, it's worth checking out the prix fixe menu. It includes a different (glass of) wine with each course, so you can taste a broader sample of their (extensive) wine selection.