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Jun 21, 2007 10:42 AM

A16 What to order?

Ok, surprise, surprise, but I've never been to A16. We have a reservation tonight at 8:30. So what's good there? Thanks.

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    1. Everything? Oh, ok - I guess that's too simplistic of a response. ;)

      As people repeatedly say, the burrata is lovely. The salumi is also fantastic.

      When it comes to pizzas, a good rule of thumb for a first timer is to go with one that has sauce. For instance, the salsiccia is very good... but it's not going to be the iconic Neapolitan pizza. I would highly recommend going simple - I think the margherita is the best pizza on the menu.

      As of Tuesday night they still had a new pasta on the menu - a squid ink pasta with calamari and squash blossoms. Squid ink is an acquired taste, really... but it's a very good dish. If that doesn't trip your trigger, I'd recommend trying the gnocchi.

      A16 has been sourcing whole pigs, and I believe they've been getting them in on Thursdays, actually. Frankly, if you see pork "anything" on the menu, it's usually a safe bet.

      Some of their desserts seem a bit non-traditional... but I've always enjoyed them. The budino tart is a classic for them.

      Another plus - great wine list!

      Hope you enjoy... and let us know what you think! :)

        1. re: profjmm

          I find it's best NOT to order the burrata. You can get the exact same cheese, from the same producer (Gioia) at Cowgirl Creamery for $13 for a 1-lb tub. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and you've got A16's dish. There are much more interesting apps (the calamari bruschetta was a standout two weeks ago), especially for the price - $10 for a small portion of the cheese is just not worth it.

          1. re: mbaldauf

            A16 FedExes its burrata daily from Gioia to ensure freshness. Other places it's not necessarily as perfectly fresh.

          2. Well, obviously get the olives...

            The Priscutto tasting is awesome, as is the San Daniele
            The burrata is very good, too
            The last time I went they had a great arugala salad on the menu

            Get a pizza to share. I don't necessarily agree it has to be with sauce. I've had an incredible sausage pizza and mushroom pizza there, both without sauce. Wow... just thinking about them...

            If you get a pasta, stongly consider the ricotta gnocchi if you like the sauce it comes in. The best gnocchi I've ever had.

            The beef tri-tip is always on the menu and excellent.
            They often do a braised dish -- those are always good. The last time they did a braised pork meatloaf like dish which was good, but a little too much of the same thing. But if they have braised short ribs or braised wild boar (oh my GOD that was good) strongly consider that.

            1 Reply
            1. re: whiner

              I agree on the gnocchi. I had the gnocchi in broth with pork meatballs and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also agree that the pizza is wonderful. I love the margherita pizza and get it with an egg or arugula.

            2. I had a very good panna cotta at A16. Desserts there never appeal to me, but the fig panna cotta I had there last August...well, I still remember it!

              8 Replies
              1. re: Mari

                And I still remember a chocolate tart with olive oil and sea salt. Trendy, I know, but delicious!

                1. re: chaddict

                  There is a new dessert called zucotto (sp? could be soccoto) which is basically a sponge cake soaked in an apricot syrup or almond water with an apricot pit semi fredo in the outside and crushed almonds with apricot slices. My description did not do it justice, but it is fantastic. Actually desserts I have had there recently have been spectacular; and I was so disappointed with 3 bad meals at Gialina (which I really wanted to like to avoid the drive to the Marina) and Gialina left me with such a craving for pizza and other foods that A16 introduced to SF that even Delfina Pizzeria did not satisfy completely (although Delfina is solid) that I broke down and wentto A16 yesterday. It was like meeting a great old friend that has blossomed into something special. The food is better than ever, with desserts being highlights. All I can say is get the apricot whatever it is called and the berry panzanella. That said, the black pasta (squid ink) with squid rings and tentacles as well as young green zucchinni blossoms was amazing and worth the trip alone.

                    1. re: Amy G

                      That's it! I am going for lunch today. You had me drooling!

                      1. re: Amy G

                        That does sound very tempting. I'll make a reservation and hope that they have it when I go.

                        1. re: Mari

                          OK, so I had the zuccotto today. Tip: let it melt and soften just a wee bit and it really blossoms. Thanks, Amy G! Also tried the cannolis. I am no expert on cannolis but these seemed very untraditional. Whisper thin shell that shatters on impact, no fruit, just chocolate. Damn good though! I'm just sorry I didn't order some extra to go.

                          1. re: chaddict

                            Lucky you - I've been looking at a reservatio on Open Table with no luck. Hopefully the zuccotto will be on the menu for a while. Would you compare it a bit to the sacrapantina at Stella in No. Beach? I am actually not a big fan of the sacrapantina.

                            1. re: Mari

                              It's nothing like it. It's really mostly semifreddo (think ice cream cake). Extremely thin disc of cake, lots of semifreddo, another extremely thin disc of cake, all covered in apricots and thin syrup.

                              I have much better luck getting in at lunch plus less crowded, less noise. However, far less choice on pastas, entees, etc. Desserts not updated on the web.