Short report on Zuppa. Group of us met up there tonight after today's Giant game and I was very pleasantly reminded at how tasty the place is.
The Olive/Margherita pizza had a tangy sauce, lovely cheese and the crust had just the right amount of chew.
The Rigatoni witht the Pork Ragout was possibly one of the best pasta dishes I can remember having in SF. Perfect amount of salt, the pasta was judiciously cooked the porky flavor was redolent. A standout dish.
The veal chop I ordered was nicely on the rare side and had excellent flavor. Pork chop with cardoons toothsome. The Halibut with Crazy Water "acquapazza" light and spicy. Panacotta hugely vanilla with a bordering on excessive creaminess, but the Tiramisu was on the light side so they balanced each other out.
Wine list was generous, plenty of good bottles to pick under $40.
In a city with all too many so-so Italian spots, Zuppa was a standout tonight. Recommended.
564 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94107
Good stuff. (Zuppa - 564 4th Street - SF - 94107 - http://www.zuppa-sf.com/menus/)
I had three appetisers, my bro had the Ragu. Good food, simply presented.
My apps = "Bread Salad", which consisted of tasty crustini and fresh lettuce with a simple vinagrette. "Polpo alla Griglia con Patate Condite", which was thinly sliced and marinated octapus with slices of new potato and lettuce in a bright dressing. The "Mussels cooked in black pepper" were just that, a pot of mussels in a light sauce (essentially the liquor from the mussels and the wine/butter broth they were cooked in).
My bro had a ball speaking Italian with our waitress, who was very accomodating and personable. She recommended a "crudo" wine that was from her home region and went perfectly with everything.
He ordered the "Ragu' di Maiale con Rigatoni, Broccoli di Cicio", which was rigatoni with a cheesy tomato sauce that only the Italians can pull off. Very nice.
The bread was a fluffy foccacia and the olive oil dip had balsamic at the bottom (too deep to get to without soaking the bread). They could definately get more creative with that. However, pulling whole, thoroughly cooked, garlic cloves from the mussel pot and spreading it on the bread made for an extrordinary couple of bites.
Food: 7 Good, but not inspired
Service: 9 Attentive and informative
Price: 8 Hey, it's fine dining in SF!
Ambiance: 7 Expensively converted industrial - 30 foot ceilings, hard chairs, wierd art, concrete walls
Ate there last week. We had a variety of cold cuts (very good but not great), the octopus salad (definitely recommend ordering this) and various pastas. I tried the pork ragout...it was definitely solid but nothing extraordinary. I don't have a lot of experience with SF Italian (moved from the east coast not too long ago) but it seemed more along the lines of Italian-style than authentic Italian--lacked the kind of complexity and depth I usually expect from a red sauce dish. Panna cotta was good...as the person above said it was creamier than I'm used to but I actually preferred this (not usually a huge fan of panna cotta).
re: Melanie Wong
I haven't tried those specific dishes at Incanto, but I can very certainly say Incanto was a much better dining experience, from service to wine to dishes themselves. I wouldn't hesitate to return there, while it's very unlikely I'll ever be back to Zuppa (cursed space? Cafe Monk was also unappealing).