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Apr 7, 2008 07:47 PM

Favorites on current Incanto menu?

I had my first meal at Incanto on Friday and had a "where have you been all my life?" experience.

Obviously, I really enjoyed what I had on that visit (cardoons with lemon and anchovy, capunti with lamb sugo, rice pudding with rhubarb), but now I am wondering what to try next.

The menu currently on the website (see link below) is very close to the one I saw on Friday.

Ordinarily, I can narrow things down by eliminating things that I can get anywhere else and/or are easy for me to replicate at home. The menu at Incanto, however, offers so many things that I would not or could not easily make, that I had a very hard time deciding that night. Now the task is made only slightly easier by eliminating the items I've already tried.

If you were a solo diner, which of the dishes would you go for? Why?

Thanks for the input!

Edit: I forgot to mention the wine selections, all 3 of which were great, and 2 of which went very well with the dishes they were paired with. In order:

2006 Monchiero Carbone Roero Arneis Recit - Minerality stood up well to, but didn't clash with, the citrus and fish notes in the cardoon appetizer.

2005 Arnaldo-Caprai Montefalco Rosso - Rich, medium-full body with a lot of cherry and plummy fruit and just enough acidity to give it some structure. I really enjoyed this wine on its own. I noticed that the acidity came on too strong (to my taste, anyway) while eating the pasta, but I should note that I've noticed that my mouth has become sensitive to acidic foods over the past year or so.

2006 Cascina Ca’ Rossa Brachetto "Birbét" - Lovely rosey bouquet. Sweet, but not too sweet, gently effervescent, and enough crispness to balance out the richness of the rice pudding. Hands down the best pairing of the evening for me. The floral bouquet and crispness of the wine went hand in hand with the subtle sweetness of the pudding. I almost bought a bottle on the spot (assuming they would have let me).

Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

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  1. I had the kampachi crudo and the malfatti last week and my husband had the whole roasted petrale sole. Both were excellent. The crudo had shaved asparagus and a savory granita on the top that made the dish. The malfatti was good but nothing I couldn't make at home, so I wouldn't get it again.

    1. I was there Saturday night, and the capunti with lamb sugo was excellent.

      The fava beans in the gnocchi with favas were super. I'm not a gnocchi fan. We also loved the rhubarb.

      Bucatini with egg yolk and tuna heart is a regular item, and a must, as is the panacotta. I also highly recommend the trotter, bacon, and foie gras appetizer, although it's rich.

      Antipasti came with a scrapping of something gelatinous (my friends said something about head to hoof) that was exceptional.

      Generally stick to the roasted/braised meats (esp lamb neck if it's offered), offal, and pastas. I haven't been too impressed with their seafood offerings except the crudo.

      When I go alone, I rarely get an entree and generally order an appetizer, half pasta, and dessert. Sometimes a side of a green vegetable just to feel virtuous. And a lot of half glasses of wine.

      The menu on the website is rarely updated.

      1. I have dined there solo more often than not (although I am long overdue, your post is reminding me) and I love dining at the bar. You get great service but there's a little bit more energy than there would be if you were alone at a table.

        They are known for offal, but I think they do salads quite well -- even though we all can whip up a salad at home, I don't think I could match theirs.

        I've also really enjoyed the crudo every time I've ordered it. Whenever you see beef hearts I would recommend getting them. And the lamb neck -- if you're in the mood to tackle a huge piece of meat. And everyone loves their antipasti plate, but I've never ordered it solo. That's too much for me.

        You should also ask the advice of your server/bartender. I almost always do unless I have a specific hankering, and I've never been steered wrong.

        It's such a wonderful thing to "discover" a new place -- congratulations!

        1. I went there for the first time myself about a month ago, and absolutely loved the bucatini with egg yolk and tuna heart. I would definitely order that again!

          2 Replies
          1. re: toofacetious

            I like the the tuna heart dish too. La Ciccia also has pasta with tuna hearts that is very good. Have you tried it? It's a bit lighter than Incanto's because it doesn't use egg yolk, but I find it equally tasty.

            1. re: wanderlust21

              Yes, both are great. I've had it without egg yolk at Incanto, too.

          2. Thanks to all for the suggestions, including those for which items to skip.

            I hope to make it over there for an early dinner tomorrow. [fingers crossed]

            1 Reply
            1. re: hohokam

              You do know they are closed Tuesdays, right? Oh never mind, I just noticed the date. Enjoy yourself!