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Serving food from Northern Italy in winter and moving down south along the coast for spring and summer meals, AltoVino gives diners a taste of the cuisine from several regions of the country, pairing the food with selected wines from the alpine and volcanic slopes of Italy. From stuzzichino to dolci, the food is divine, be it the pappardelle pasta, the butternut squash ravioli with hazelnuts or the chicken liver pate crostini and every morsel is relished. The pistachio gelato or the buttermilk panna cotta are the choices for the sweet tooth apart from the perennial favorite - the chocolate caramel budino.
Located in the Ferry Building Marketplace, a visit to Hog Island Oyster Bar is a great way to start off a San Francisco adventure. The restaurant is owned by the Hog Island Oyster Farm, who farms oysters in Tomales Bay. Established in 1983, today the company raises over three million oysters per year. The casual surroundings of the restaurant, located opposite a retail fish store, provide a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge. Stop in and grab a glass of wine and down as many oysters as you can. The menu also offers clams and salad, but the main attraction here is the oyster stew, the chowder and the grilled cheese sandwich! Check for the daily specials before ordering. The restaurant also offers a small quantity of live, unshucked oysters to take away, but will have to be ordered three days prior.
Inspired by chef and owner Sharon Ardiana's unique Italian family, Gialina sets itself apart by serving delicious, home-style Italian meals that come from the Emilia-Romagna area. Chef Adriana makes use of the freshest ingredients in her ever-changing menu, one that she feels reflects the kinds of food that she grew up on. The menu is simple, but the choices are exquisite. Options available include daily roast specials and hot pizza pies such as a three cheese Margherita or Puttanesca, which is topped with anchovies, capers, chilies, and herbs. And don't forget to check out their delectable dessert menu (but not until after your dinner!) The wine list is good, the service is excellent, and the food is unbeatable.
You couldn't ask for a better place for a restaurant; Hunan Cafe No. 2 is situated between Golden Gate Park and Lincoln Park and right next to the beach. But reaching Hunan Cafe No. 2 might be somewhat more difficult with no metro/subways nearby. The food makes it worth the drive though. Make sure you try the Kung Pao Chicken, Mongolian Beef and the Vegetable Fried Rice, not necessarily on the same day. The restaurant has everything you would expect from a good Chinese restaurant. Remember this restaurant is No. 2, the first one being in San Bruno! Call for more information.
The first of these gourmet bakeries in the Bay Area (they now have stores in San Francisco and Emeryville), Arizmendi bakes up amazing fresh breads and gourmet pizzas daily. Some baked goods are regulars, while others change daily, like Irish Soda Bread and fig-Fennel Sourdough. The huge draw here, besides the urge to overstuff your breadbox are the fresh, specialty pizzas which change daily. Whether its a more basic version like Tomato Sauce, Olives and Rosemary, or slightly more daring and unusual, like Pasilla Peppers, Red Onions, Zucchini and Cilantro Pesto, the pizza will please any palate. Pizzas can be bought by the slice, half-pizza, or a whole and can be heated up there for immediate consumption, or half baked for you to finish yourself when you get home.
Picco Restaurant, located on Magnolia Avenue, is known to serve delectable Italian cuisine. Owned and operated by chef Bruce Hill, this restaurant offers an extensive menu of authentic delicacies, cooked to perfection, with the freshest seasonal produce and finest ingredients. Many a patron have praised their Avocado Bruschetta, Risotto, Roasted Sunchoke Soup and the Cheese Plate. Their alcohol menu is quite impressive too. They serve a variety of tantalizing cocktails, wines and beers. The decor is beautiful with elegant embellishments and a cozy ambiance, perfect for a date night.