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Last Night at Perbacco

w
whiner Jul 10, 2011 12:00 PM

FWIW:

Last night was the first night I've ever been there where it was not completely packed. It was mostly full, just not 'packed'. Also, it was already my favorite restaurant -- all things, including price, considered -- in San Francisco, but last night was the best meal there I've had yet. I had the risotto with porcini, corn, smoked pancetta, and caramelized onions as my appetizer and the veal chop with roasted baby turnips, roasted a strange type of whole onion, and fresh dandelion greens with a terrific balsamic reduction and amazing EVOO for my main course. Dessert was my standard -- the burnt caramel gelato. Just a remarkable dinner. I hope they are doing ok in business... but wow, what a dinner...

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Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

  1. r
    Rapini Jul 10, 2011 01:02 PM

    Until a dinner a couple of weeks ago, our only experience at Perbacco had been for the special Passover dinners they've done with Joyce Goldstein. Those dinners were very good, but can't serve as a test of the customary menu, service, etc. When we did visit for a "real" dinner recently, we were extremely pleased and impressed with the whole experience--service, food, and wine.

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    Perbacco
    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    1. escargot3 Jul 10, 2011 04:48 PM

      Glad to hear about your lovely meal there. It's one of my fave restos in SF.

      1. Pei Jul 11, 2011 07:45 PM

        Ditto. I find myself at Barbacco more often just because it's easier to drop in and the price point is slightly lower, but Perbacco remains one of my favorite restaurants in SF. The stuffed quail is exceptional.

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        Perbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Barbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        1. Eugene Park Jul 11, 2011 08:40 PM

          It's been a couple years since I had dinner at Perbacco, but I've lunched there frequently and recently. Still a tough reservation for tables during lunch primetime (i.e. before 1PM), unless you're making a reservation several days out. Always either packed or close to it every time I've been there, invariably eliciting comments from my clients or vendors of "what recession?"

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          Perbacco
          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          1. c
            CG09 Sep 19, 2011 10:52 AM

            I have to think they are doing ok - my colleagues and I travel to San Fran for business regularly, and we can always all agree on Perbacco, and it is always full when we go. Our dinners are consistently excellent, and we have some very picky people in the group. The quail and the duck are always excellent, and when they have a pork chop, it can be a standout as well. Love the caramel gelato, as well as the "ugly but good" cookies - great with after-dinner coffee. It has remained my favorite meal over the course of the last year.

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            Perbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1 Reply
            1. re: CG09
              l
              lmnopm Jul 28, 2012 12:10 PM

              Yesterday was probably my 4th visit ever, and by far, the best. It was always on my 'very good' list but it is now higher. It also helped that we had a table in an "ever so slightly" less noisy area, where I wasn't hunched over to hear during the meal.

              (1) Shared the sausage crostini and celery w/sardine starters. Delicious
              (2) My main was the veal breast. A delicious plate. Side of beans, which tasted like bacon, so they were delicious.
              (3) The chocolate mouse-like dessert was excellent. The peach dessert was very good.
              (4) 2 1/2L carafes - an Italian white to start, and an Italian red to finish. I like the 1/2L carafes - the selections are decent, the prices are fair, and it lets you have more than 2 half-bottles, and less than 2 full bottles.
              (5) Service was excellent. A combination of warm, professional, competent, and honest.

            2. Robert Lauriston Jul 28, 2012 12:45 PM

              We had a great if not very traditional meal last week.

              Started with vitello tonnato (thin slices of veal in a tuna and caper sauce) and warm seared octopus with potatoes, celery, and salsa vertde. which were both so fantastic that we split seared sea scallops with ratatouille, zucchini purée, and lobster sauce, also great.

              Then we had "plin tostati" (agnolotti filled with duck confit and sauerkraut) in duck ragù and langarolli filled with short ribs and porcini in red wine butter. They were delicious but suprisingly sour, we would have done better to order a higher-acid wine.

              The pastas were so good we got a couple more, the agnolotti dal plin, which I pretty much always order, and the tajarin with pork sugo and porcini.

              We were too full for main courses so we got the cheese plate, which was actually the main reason for going to Perbacco. Had an excellent Robiola, a Cremificato di Capra which was similar to Gorgonzola Dolcelatte but goat instead of cow, Testun al Barolo, and one other I forget, really as good a cheese plate as you can get. Good portions and all the pointless condiments American demand served on the size.

              For desert, had a bonèt, a dense custard made with "wild harvested chocolate," spectacularly good, pretty much eclipsed the the almond brown butter cake, which would probably have been impressive otherwise.

              Drank lots of great wines. The list is longer and more impressive than ever, the new sommelier, Claudio Villani (who worked at Incanto for a few years and returned from Las Vegas to take this mob) said he's added a hundred new wines in the six months he's been there.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                l
                lmnopm Jul 28, 2012 01:17 PM

                Yes, the Bonet was the dessert. Impressive

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  Eugene Park Jul 28, 2012 05:01 PM

                  I had the octopus dish as part of a group dinner of 13 in their Barolo room upstairs in the back a few weeks ago. Everyone was astounded by this dish, even the few who were "eh" about octopus. Perfect texture and a multitude of complementary flavor profiles.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    r
                    rubadubgdub Jul 30, 2012 01:45 PM

                    I could eat that vitello tonnato all day long. It's one of their outstanding dishes.

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