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Sep 21, 2006 05:00 PM

A16 Quick Update

With a great deal of skepticism I ate at A16 and wanted to give a quick report.

The atmosphere was buzzing and filled with a NY-like level of excitement. Wine list was well chosen and service excellent.

The olive oil placed on the table was delicious, very peppery and with that spiciness in the back of the throat that very good oil gives you.

The "eggplant parmesan" was grilled eggplant, a paperthin slice of ham, mozzarella and Early Girl tomatoes. I was a bit thrown off by the room temperature aspect - after seeing the Parm word - but it was well prepared and very fresh. My gf raved about it.

We got 2 1/2 orders of pasta, (1) Bucatini with Manila Clams, Tomatoes, etc. This was delicious - the clams super fresh and the pasta al dente and perfectly sauced. (2) was a Taglioni with Chanterelles and Guanciale. The pasta was super fresh but I thought the saucing too rich - there must have been a stick of butter in it.

The highlight of the dinner was unquestionably the boned Short Rib, eeasily the best I have ever had. This rectangular chunk of beautiful beef came out in a deep red pool of tomato sauce. It was cooked to perfection and reflected a long and thoughtful braise. Truly fantastic.

Wrapped up with a crusty/puddingy chocolate dessert, name escapes me now, but it was served with salt and olive oil on the crust. Very well done.

I'll be back!

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  1. Why were you skeptical about eating at A16?

    1. There has been so much hype about the restaurant. Plus reports from trusted palates more or less said if this place was in NY it would be a pretty good Italian place, but SF it's heralded beyond its abilities. But I'm glad to have found it was very good indeed.

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        1. Having eaten at A16 recently I think the food is better than ever. Can't wait to to La Ciccia.

          1. I love that place. Expect fairly straightforward food of very high quality paired expertly with interesting wines and you will not be disappointed.

            I don't drink a lot of Italian wine and really enjoy exploring the list by getting lots of different tastes. The staff recognizes that the list is not familiar for many people and they are very helpful and generous.

            I can't imagine going and not getting at least one pizza. The crust is sublime and they keep the toppings simple and high quality. Last time we had one with wild mushrooms and one with prosciutto and arugula. For starters they also serve a killer burrata with crostini - again very simple but transcendent.