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Trip Report: All that we had hoped for

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We've just returned to the East Coast (Cape Cod) after a week of wonderful eating.

We had dinner at Cotogna one night, and it was everything we had hoped for. We each had an appetizer, a pasta and dessert. Of the appetizers, my favorite was the carrot sformato (my choice), which was wonderfully rich and creamy. All the pastas were excellent: my agnolotti dal plin was the best I've had since I was in Piemonte. The torta di pignoli was also scrumptious, topped with lavender gelato. Sometimes a long-awaited dinner raises expectations, which are not always met, but not the case here.

Also had a great dinner at Barbacco another night. We especially loved the affetati, which were very high-quality, and of course the famous Brussels sprouts. We overordered and ended up taking half our meal home, but it made a nice lunch the next day.

We had promised our son a dim sum lunch during our visit, so we decided to spring for Yank Sing. We were headed to the SFMoma, so we went to the Rincon Center location. Yes, it's pricy for dim sum, but the quality of the food was great. Especially enjoyed the Peking duck and the dry-fried green beans. My son said it was the best he'd had since he was in China last spring.

Another delicious lunch was at Osteria del Forno, which I always visit when in San Francisco. To me, it is a truly authentic Italian trattoria, not a tarted-up American idealization. The gnocchi with gorgonzola and sage were delicious, the lightness of the gnocchi offset by the rich sauce.

Finally, had a lovely dinner at Chiaroscuro in the Financial District with some friends from college. I haven't seen this place mentioned on the board, but my friends go there regularly and it did not disappoint. Standouts included a wonderful selection of cheeses, rabbit prepared two ways (duetto di cogniglio), and the best hazelnut gelato I've ever tasted.

All in all, a very good week of food. Thanks to all of the local posters; your comments were very helpful in planning our week.

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  1. Great review! I am especially excited to hear about the agnolotti at Cotogna; any place with Piedmontese specials gets my attention! (Like Spinasse in Seattle!)

    1. Thanks for the great report.

      Chiaroscuro had some bad reports when it opened, and around then and since other Italian places have opened so I think people wrote it off.

      Apparently they got their act together -- a friend also reported a good meal there a couple of weeks ago.

      1. Awesome report. Wish Mr. Bayless had put in 1/4 of the effort you did. Thanks for visiting and hope to have you back here again!

        1. Cotogna really has the sformatos nailed, don't they? Thanks for the intel on Chiaroscuro, v. handy if you're staying in Union Square as we usually do when we visit.