Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

May 22, 2011 11:52 AM

Restaurant: Perbacco


230 California Street
San Francisco, California 94111
Fax 415-955-0676
Stan suggested this restaurant for he and Julia, Florence and Peter, and Debbie and I.

Perbacco is quite large. To the left of the entry is a long, L-shaped bar with many high chairs. There are also several high, round tables with related chairs at the front. There are a large number of tables running the length of the restaurant to a huge open kitchen. There is also what appears to be a chef’s table right before the front counter of the kitchen.

The balcony overlooking the restaurant has multiple tables, and here is where we were seated. There are a number of booths and 4 and 6-top tables.

Julia, Stan and Debbie started with the Burrata cheese, roasted broccoli, citron condimento, and blood orange salad. Florence chose the Fritto Misto of rock shrimp, seasonal beans, olives, fennel and lemon aioli. Peter enjoyed the Roasted Pear Salad with caramel vinaigrette, Gorgonzola crème and candied hazelnuts. I had two appetizers, the Roasted Pear Salad and the Piastra Roasted Octopus with fingerling potatoes, Castelvetrano olives and fennel salsa verde.

For her main course Julia went for the John Dory Fillet with green asparagus and leeks in spring garlic Jus. Stan tried the Risotto with local green asparagus, melted leeks and Jamon Iberico. Florence selected the Tortelli Di Ciapin-Abe, which is pasta filled with roasted sunchokes, sage butter, hedgehog mushrooms and radicchio. Peter chose the Pappardelle -- wide pasta ribbons with slow-cooked short rib ragout and roasted Cipolline and horseradish. Debbie tried the Rivora -- pasta filled with Meyer lemon and ricotta, and asparagus passatina with mint. I went with Agnolotti Al Coniglio -- rabbit agnolotti with vermouth reduction and mostarda di frutta.

The restroom is one of that rare breed of restrooms that accommodates men and women in the same area. There is a long rectangular room with 3 washbasins and a mirror at the far end. Along the right hand side are 4 completely enclosed commode areas, 2 marked for men and 2 for women. There are white/gray accented rectangular floor tiles. The walls are covered with narrow white tiles.

The service was first rate.

There is valet parking at night.

It is fairly noisy.

A food critic for the “San Francisco Chronicle” was at the next table with family or friends.

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