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A16 or Ristobar for dinner?

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What does the board think?

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A16
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

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  1. A16 has good wines by the glass, very good burrata and very respectable pizzas from their wood-fired oven. It's a bit of a scene so it can be noisy and crowded. Shoehorning into the bar can be an experience when the place is slammed but that's simply the price of poker. I like going there.

    1. A16 is my favorite pizza in SF. Very consistent, but if you don't like Neapolitan style, you won't like the pizza. Other dishes at A16 range from good to very good. No standouts, no clunkers. What is the standout for me (other than the pizza) is the wine list, which is full of interesting under the radar screen wines. I have been to Ristobar once, about 9 months ago, and would not go back again. The pizzas (we tried 4) were undersalted and the crust was tough. Toppings were serviceable. The other dishes we tried were fine. Not as good a wine list as A16 and lackluster service.

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      A16
      2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

      3 Replies
      1. re: farmersdaughter

        The Chronicle reported that U2 ate at A16 the night before their concert in Oakland.

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        A16
        2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

        1. re: farmersdaughter

          I love neapolitan style. How does A16 compare to una pizza napoletana? I was a fan of Mangieri when he was in NYC.

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          A16
          2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

          1. re: Scotty100

            Una Pizza Napoletana is terrific as well, and I think the pizza there is as good or better than A16's pizza. However the overall experience at UPN doesn't compare to A16. UPN is a temple to pizza and has nothing else on the menu (other than wine), while A16 is a full service restaurant with a vibrant atmosphere. With UPN you go, sit down, eat a pizza, and leave. Not an inviting atmosphere - it's all about the pizza. If you decide to go to UPN you may want to combine it with a visit to Bar Agricole, which is a block away.

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            A16
            2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

            Bar Agricole
            355 11th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

            Una Pizza Napoletana
            200 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        2. No one has yet mentioned Ristobar. I've been twice and found the food to be about as good as food gets (didn't have their pizza). Give it a try and see what you think.

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          Ristobar
          2300 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

          1. a16 has the best neapolitan pizza in the bay area, so if that's what you're going for, do that. they also have the best (complimentary) olive oil i've ever had, as well as a fun vibe (esp. if you can sit at the bar and talk w/ the chefs/pizzaiolo, and good wines, burrata, etc.

            i like the meat dishes at ristobar, and it's less crowded/noisy, and they do have good desserts (i thought the famous budino at a16 was very good, but not as amazing as people have made it out to be, i actually made a better version at home using their recipe)

            1. I'd heard a rumor that Chef Angelo Auriana had departed Ristobar. I was in there tonight waiting for a table to open up at A16 and learned that he did leave about 3 weeks ago for his own pursuits. The sous chef has stepped in on an interim basis and the new chef has been hired and will start soon.

              Here's last month's piece on Ristobar in the Chron.
              http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

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              A16
              2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123