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Attention Perbacco lovers

My in-laws will be in town next week, and I'm trying to decide where to take them Friday night. Perbacco comes to mind as they love Italian food (they've enjoyed A16 in the past). I just can't shake the memory of my one dinner there. My pasta was overcooked and the whole vibe was a bit...sterile? I haven't been back since, but I hear so many good things about it that I'm wondering if my experience was anomalous. La Ciccia and SPQR are two of my faves, for a point of reference.

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La Ciccia
291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

A16
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

SPQR
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

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  1. I've been to Perbacco for lunch and dinner many times and have never been disappointed. i would say your experience was an anomaly. On the other hand, I have never been disappointed at La Ciccia or SPQR either. Tough choices.

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    La Ciccia
    291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

    Perbacco
    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    SPQR
    1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

    1. Perbacco has been getting nothing but raves for the food lately. The atmosphere is definitely not as warm as La Ciccia -- it's more downtown/sophisticated, which may have struck you as sterile. I think it can be different depending on where you sit, with people finding the area under the stairs a bit more cozy.

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      La Ciccia
      291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

      Perbacco
      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      1. Maybe you want to try Sociale

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        Sociale
        3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

        1 Reply
        1. re: Scott M

          oooh, i second Sociale! i took my BF's parents there and we all loved it. sit outside if you can - there are heatlamps - because the outdoor patio is very charming. inside is a little more elegant but never sterile. I've been there twice now and everything we've tried has been excellent. meats are perfectly cooked, pastas are fresh, depth of flavor in everything. standouts were a rack of lamb and kobe style steak, but also a fresh pasta pork ragu one time was deeply satisfying. there's nothing cutting edge, but the food is consistently delicious.

          I like Perbacco very much, but love La Ciccia.

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          Sociale
          3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

        2. I like the food, but find the atmosphere very financial/business like. I'm work in finance and its not my favorite vibe in my down time.

          1. I think the food at Perbacco is as good as it gets outside of Italy. I've been lucky to dine there 3 times in about the past 6 months. Once, my Italy-loving friend nearly cried with joy over the housemade "mostarde di fruita" served with the rabbit. I myself am thrilled by the scallops as well as by the lamb. I suspect your experience was an "off" night.

            And I also have enjoyed really great meals at La Ciccia - but I haven't eaten there recently.

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            La Ciccia
            291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

            Perbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111