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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.

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Friday
Apr082005

A16

a16.jpg

At long last, here is my last post from San Francisco. The fact that this meal was a sort of pre-birthday dinner with some family friends just shows how far behind I am... Anyway, we went to the much-loved A16 on Chestnut, which specializes in the Southern Italian fare of Naples. Thanks to my friend John for snapping a photo of the sign for me - I forgot to do it myself when I was there (as an aside, he's got some great photos). A16 has gotten some pretty good pub around the city, and for good reason. They really emphasize the fact that they do food from Naples, which results in a lot of great meats and some well-executed pizza. The place is always pretty packed. We got a pretty large table in the back room, which would have been relatively quiet compared to the bustling main dining room were it not for a table of very loud mid-high 20s women seated right next to us. The main room has a very active and booming atmosphere - must be from all the hype the restaurant is receiving.

mozzarella burrata with olive oil, sea salt & crostini - $10 This dish was highly recommended by just about everyone, and for damn good reason. This mozzarella is delicious. It's smooth, incredibly silky, and creamy. The olive oil and salt give it just enough flavor. An absolutely sublime dish - easily the best part of the meal.

laghane with porcini, potato and pancetta - $9 The menu is fairly light on pasta - there were only two listed when we went, but I guess this is because of the Naples slant. The laghane was offered in both app and main portions ($9/$15), and was described as a thick, wide, flat noodle, so I went with it. The dish was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment, especially following a superb appetizer. The pasta itself was quite well done, and the porcinis were great, but the sauce was far too soupy - you can see the amount of liquid in the photo. I also thought they were a bit too heavy-handed with the parsley, which overpowered the other more subtle flavors.

beef short ribs braised in tomato with basil and bread crumbs - $20.5 Fortunately the meal rebounded very strongly with the short ribs. The beef was deliciously tender, and the tomato sauce lended a deep, hearty flavor. The toasted bread crumbs on top gave the dish an occasional crunch. I loved the simplicity of this dish; its execution was superb. I didn't get a pizza because I'd tried one the last time I was here (sadly I don't have that trip on the site), but let me assure you that they do a pretty mean version for you Italian pizza lovers. They also specialize in various salamis and meats that are cured on the premises. There are a lot of things on the menu I want to try (on top of the list is a supposedly excellent tuna conserva), but it's gonna be tough to not order the burrata every time I go... Anyway, Boston food is coming up.

Reader Comments (4)

oh, that burrata looks INCREDIBLE. i'm jealous.
Monday, April 11, 2005 at 9:10AM | Unregistered Commentermegwoo
mmmmmmm looks delish - i'm going because of your photos and descriptions - thank you!
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 at 12:12PM | Unregistered CommenterAlison McQuade
Arthur:

I loved your commentary on A16 and am taking Jonathan and our family there this evening.

What's a good place for lacrosse lovers?

Lil
Friday, August 19, 2005 at 10:28AM | Unregistered CommenterLil Wong Leung
Everyone go to A16 and get the burrata. If you can get in, of course...

Mrs. Leung, thanks for visiting the site! I told Jon to make sure he doesn't miss the burrata. :) As for the lacrosse thing, who knows! I wonder if lacrosse lovers have similar taste in food...
Friday, August 19, 2005 at 1:47PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Che

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