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Any Boston transplant? Do you know any southern italian restaurant like Giacomo's around the bay area?

I am looking for a replacement for my old stand-by from Boston's north end, Giacomo's.

It's our 7 year anniversary and I'd like to find a restaurant that will serve good old southern italian (primarily sea food). We live in Mountain View but we're planning on driving pretty much anywhere in SF or south bay. I looked up the threads on popular italian places in North Beach and most of the popular ones seem to be pizza/italian or northern italian.

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  1. How about Sardinian or Sicilian?
    La Ciccia or Caffe Sport

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

    Caffe Sport
    574 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Both look great! thanks for the suggestion. I remembered saving La Ciccia to my Evernote at some point. I think Bourdain mentioned it somewhere. I will look into Caffe Sport. The menu looks like what I'm looking for.

      You've been to both? Which one do you prefer?

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

      Caffe Sport
      574 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

      1. re: thrashingstick

        Haven't been to both, only Caffe Sport but based on this board not going to La Ciccia is my loss.

        1. re: wolfe

          La Ciccia is one of my favorites, but it's not the old school East Coast Italian I assume Giacomo's is. Small, family run, personal attention, great wine list. A great place to split dishes so you can try more things on the menu. BTW their pizza is fine (and it means my 10-year old likes to go), but it is not the stength of the menu. By all means go if interested, but be aware it's a bit different than what you started out looking for.

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

    2. La Ciccia is great, but it's nothing like Boston Italian seafood.

      Bertolucci's might be close to what you're looking for. Old-school but good.

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      Sodini's Bertoluccis Ristorante
      421 Cypress Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080

      1. How about Cafe Renzo in downtown Palo Alto? It's not as incredible as La Ciccia, but it is awfully good and the cuisine might be closer to what you're looking for.

        Michael

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

        Cafe Renzo
        473 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301

        1. Giacomo's South End was my standard for many years before I moved to SF. La Ciccia, mentioned above, is great but not at all like Giacomo's.

          Macaroni Sciue Sciue, on Columbus on the downtown edge of North Beach, is Sicilian and consistently good. Not great like La Ciccia, Incanto, or the Barbacco/Perbacco duo, but consistently good. I'm not familiar with the Peninsula places mentioned in this thread, so I can't say whether Macaroni Sciue Sciue will get you closer to the Giacomo's experience than those will.

          I'm also going to throw Tomasso's into the mix. Yes, they're known for pizza, but their pasta selections and boisterous style remind me of Giacomo's. It's not the best Italian food in SF, but Giacomo's isn't the best Italian food in Boston.

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

          1. Went to La Ciccia! The food was great, especially the octopus stew and Fregola with Squid ink. I wanted to lick the plates for both.

            And yup, it was not at all like Giacomo's. It's much fancier, in terms of dishes, service and wine list. Although it wasn't a replacement for Giacomo's, it suited perfectly for a romantic anniversary dinner. We're definitely going back to try out other dishes.

            I'll still have to find a replacement for Giacomo's though.

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: thrashingstick

              So glad you had a great evening! There a several places in the Mission/Noe Valley that are in the same ballpark as La Ciccia: Delfina, Flour + Water, Incanto, Bar Bambino, etc. That type of place (of course each is different) is what San Francisco does best.

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

              Delfina Restaurant
              3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Bar Bambino
              2931 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

            2. You might want to try the Gold Mirror, on Taraval & 18th Avenue in San Francisco. I have not been to Giacomo's in Boston, but the Gold Mirror is "old-school" and you can certainly find dishes like veal & chicken marsala/parmagiana/scalapini there.

              http://goldmirrorrestaurant.com/

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              Gold Mirror Italian Restaurant
              800 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

              1 Reply
              1. re: DavidT

                Gold Mirror is old-school, but it's northern style, and doesn't focus much on seafood.

              2. Sodinis on green street in North beach. They also have another location in South SF (same family, not sure if same folks run both of them.

                Has an excellent "red sauce" type meal in south city a few weeks agon, and the North Beach location is an frequent "go to" place when entertaining out-of-towners.

                The South City location is much bigger, and has a great "banquette" bar area where you can also order of the main menue.

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                Sodini's
                510 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                2 Replies
                1. re: Alan C

                  History from website:
                  In June, 2005 Peter noticed that Bertoluccis was for sale. He knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime. He sold Sodini's Green Valley restaurant to his brother and purchased Bertoluccis. The Sodini's remodeled and updated the old building. They were careful to retain the original style and charm, and reopened as Sodini's Bertoluccis on December 3, 2005

                  1. re: Alan C

                    Green Valley was the second-to-last remaining old-school family-style North Beach Italian, and Sodini didn't mess with the menu much.

                    Bertolucci's (which I recommended above) is more mainstream Italian-American, and he didn't mess with its menu much, either, though the food's probably better than it used to be. However, comparing its menu with Giacomo's, it's not really what thrashingstick is looking for, either:

                    http://giacomosblog-boston.blogspot.c...

                    I'm not sure we have anyplace like that. Maybe Scoma's?

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                    Scoma's Fisherman's Wharf
                    47 Pier 45, San Francisco, CA 94133

                  2. Thanks for all the suggestions! It seems elusive to find exactly something like Giacomo's. Tried out a few of the north beach recommendations. All good in their own way but haven't found a place that's specialized in old school seafood dishes.