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What should we get at Barbacco?

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cvhound Mar 26, 2010 09:21 AM

It will just be the two of us for dinner on Saturday night. After reading prior threads, I've narrowed our selections to the following: aranci, ascolane (fried olives stuffed with pork), burrata cheese w/grilled filone, bruschette sampler, polpette (meatballs) and either squid or angry mussels.

Have I selected well? Should I add a pasta or something else to round out our meal? What are your favorite bruschette toppings? Should we go with the squid or mussels? Any favorite desserts there that you recommend?

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Barbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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    bobpantzer RE: cvhound Mar 26, 2010 09:32 AM

    I've only been once for lunch but really enjoyed the braised chicken thighs, with escarole, garlic confit, olives and almonds--two thighs, so you could share. I also had the butterscotch gelato with chocolate shavings, which was also excellent. The lemon dessert is supposed to be wonderful, as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bobpantzer
      grishnackh RE: bobpantzer Mar 26, 2010 04:43 PM

      I've been twice times now and had the braised thighs both times. They are great. In terms of starters, their salumi and bruschetta both seem reliably good. Enjoy your meal! I think Barbacco is a great spot and a great deal for the money.

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      Barbacco
      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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      Concetta RE: cvhound Mar 26, 2010 09:50 AM

      I loved the duck pate bruschetta with the onion marmalade. The 'nduja is to die for (pronounced n-doo-ya). I've also enjoyed the beet salad, the butcher's salad and the minestra soup. Haven't tried any of the sandwiches or pasta dishes yet...been going there about 1.5 times/week since they opened.

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        cvhound RE: cvhound Mar 28, 2010 12:42 PM

        Reporting back, hubby and I loved our dinner at Barbacco Saturday night! From the leisurely pacing of our meal to the nicest, happiest waiter ever (thanks, Kevin!), we thoroughly enjoyed our two hour meal at Barbacco. We started with a single arancini and a small order of the ascolane, then a small order of the burrata cheese, the bruschette sampler (duck pate, sardines, caponata) then finally the polpette and mussels. Dessert was a scoop of butterscotch and chocolate gelato with a latte for me, regular coffee for hubby. We rarely order an entire bottle of wine for the two of us since I can barely finish a glass of wine with dinner, but the Sangiovese our waiter recommended was so delicious that we had no difficulty finishing an entire bottle and actually wished we had ordered more.

        We ordered a single arancini because hubby isn’t a fan of arancini. We’ve had arancini at Pizziaolo, Dopo, Adesso and numerous other places but Barbacco’s was hubby’s favorite. Next time, we’ll order one for each of us rather than sharing a single arancini. The small ascolane came with six stuffed olives, the large comes with ten. Tasty and fun to eat, the small was perfect for two. However, not as good as the panko-crusted fried olives I had downstairs at Chez Panisse a couple of years ago which still haunts me. Hubby is a huge olive fiend so these will remain on our “must order” list for Barbacco. The burrata cheese was FABULOUS!!! Definitely our favorite item of the evening and seriously delicious stuff. Hubby asked why the burrata we've had elsewhere didn't taste like this, lol. The small came with two grilled filone, next time we’ll order the large. I’m glad we tried the bruschette, but I don’t think we’ll order these again. We weren’t blown away by any of our toppings and there are just too many other items on the menu that we’d like to try.

        By the time our meatballs and mussels arrived, we were pretty stuffed. We struggled to finish the mussels and took two meatballs home with us. We loved the taste of of njudja in the mussel broth and the mussels themselves were cooked extremely well, but I think we’ll try some other hot items before we return to the mussels. We loved the tomato sauce and chard surrounding the three large meatballs, but I still prefer the texture of Pizziaola’s much smaller meatballs to Barbacco’s. The texture and flavor of our gelato, however, was fantastic. Right up there with Bi-Rite’s salted caramel ice cream in terms of taste and an extremely great value at $2 a scoop. Lattes and coffee were both excellent.

        For the amount of food and wine we enjoyed at Barbacco, we thought it was a terrific value. Our dinner after tax and generous tip was comparable to what we spent for the boudin prix fix dinner with two glasses of reisling and two coffees at Camino in Oakland earlier in the week. To be fair, in reviewing our receipt it looks like we were only charged for a mezze portion of wine instead of an entire bottle (a savings of $13), but even so, we’ll definitely return to Barbacco before we return to Camino. Having eaten at both Perbacco and Barbacco, we much prefer Barbacco.

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        Barbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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          chunky RE: cvhound Mar 28, 2010 04:29 PM

          I had the fried Brussels sprouts. It was a bit over fried, but it was very tasty with the capers and the vinaigrette. We had the assortment of bruschetta. I liked the sardines the best. Asparagus and the tuna were just so so. I had the mezzi rigatoni/asparagus/mint preserved meyer lemon/ricotta. It was just right for my taste since my taste is on the less salt side. We had the chocolate nemesis cake, which reminded me of a flourless chocolate dense cake.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chunky
            grishnackh RE: chunky Mar 28, 2010 05:26 PM

            Thanks for reporting back! I'm glad to hear that you had such a nice meal.

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