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Jul 26, 2008 10:08 AM

Incanto last night

Went to Incanto last night with friends. We had been there once before and our previous meal was great. This time the food was much more hit or miss, with more misses than hits. Our server was aloof and seemed annoyed to be serving us. The appetizers we ordered all sounded delicious but were disappointing. The best appetizer was pork trotters with fois gras. The trotters were delicious with an intense meaty flavor, but the fois gras was overly rare and there was enough of it to feed an army. Squash blossoms fritters stuffed with ricotta--bland and uninteresting. Gnocchi with sweet corn--too sweet, unbalanced and not very tasty. Pasta with egg yolk & shaved tuna heart--one dimensional, oily and fishy. Fava bean pure--overall just ok. For main courses: Tomato, grappa and pesto risotto. I was in the mood for risotto and thought it was good but not great. Others at the table called it pedestrian. Braised pork shoulder: The pork itself was delicious and the serving was gigantic. It was served on top of vegetables-some kind of squash. The vegetables were tough, bland and did not pair well with the pork. One of us got Veal with tuna sauce. He loved it. One of us got rabbit and squab with an escobiche-like sauce. I forgot what they called it. I tasted the rabbit and it was delicious. The squab on the other hand was overly rare and bloody. Overly rare poultry is one of my culinary pet peeves, I just don’t understand what the chefs are thinking, but that could just be me. For dessert we had the panna cotta, which was one of the highlights of the meal-light creamy and flavorful. But overall the food seemed weighed down and heavy, especially for a summer menu. It lacked the vibrancy, freshness and deliciousness I associate with good Italian food. I lament the lack of a reliable Italian restaurant in the Bay Area (even a recent visit to our favorite, Quince, was very disappointing).

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  1. The vegetarian entrees at Incanto are often weak, I think because they have to have one whether the chef's inspired or not.

    Too much foie gras, I hate when that happens.

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

    1. I hope I never read another complaint about "too much foie gras." Those four words should never be used together.

      3 Replies
      1. re: srr

        You guys may not have liked this particular foie gras. It was extremely rare, very pink inside and had lots of connective tissue.

        1. re: Ridge

          If I thought the foie gras was undercooked, I'd send it back.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            We should have done this with both the foie gras and the squab. I don’t think about it until it’s too late.