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May 28, 2008 03:11 PM

Palio d'Asti for the solo diner?

I looked through some of the FiDi/Downtown "solo diner" and "eating at the bar" threads for ideas about where to eat tonight, and I didn't see Palio mentioned. Just wondering if Palio is not a great solo option or if other options are so much better that Palio doesn't even warrant a nod.

Related question: in a head-to-head comparison, which would you prefer for solo dining? Perbacco or Palio?

230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Palio D' Asti
640 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

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    1. Agree, Perbacco without question.

      1. Sorry for the late late late reply, but I wanted to give thanks for the Perbacco recommendation.

        I had a great meal and fun time sitting at the bar chatting with the staff and a fellow patron.

        I must admit up front that I overindulged pretty seriously. I started with the ciccioli, which turned out to be a much bigger serving than I had anticipated (definitely enough for 2 to share). It wasn't quite as spicy/picante as I was hoping, but the creamy, almost frothy, texture was a delight. For the next course, I opted for the tuna conserva salad--deliciously simple and simply delicious with the richness of the tuna balanced perfectly against the salty, bitter, and tart bite the other ingredients (capers, radicchio, Meyer lemon vinaigrette). Thinking about that salad makes me feel a little giddy even now. After filling up on ciccioli and salad, I made a half-serving of the tajarin with pork sugo my main course for the evening. I've had sugos (sughi?) that I liked better, but the pasta was the best I've had in recent memory--great flavor, perfect texture.

        I had a glass of the 2006 Marco Porello Roero Arneis Camestri with my first two courses and a glass of the 2005 Bricco dell'Oriolo Dolcetto d'Alba with my pasta. I liked the Arneis better than the Dolcetto, but neither wine really grabbed me at the time.

        I had to take an hour-long intermission to deal with some business (fortunately), but I warned the bartender I would be back for dessert.

        When I returned, I ordered the sheep's milk ricotta tart (topped with cherries in bay-infused Barbera syrup) and a glass of the 2007 Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Aqui. The dessert was just right for me--a summer fruit treat that was not too sweet and not too rich--exactly what I needed after the foregoing gorgefest. The wine was fine, but it didn't knock my socks off. To be fair, though, I felt stuffed at that point, so it would taken something very special to make an impression on me.

        All in all, I'd give the entire experience an 8 out of 10, and I look forward to enjoying more of what Chef Terje has to offer.

        1. Palio D'Asti is completely and utterly forgettable unless you're really in the mood for pizza. Even in that case, I'd rather catch a cab across town to Delfina Pizzeria.