Friday, June 27, 2014

Chris Cosentino's Porcellino

Aside from the feeling of home, San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the US because it really is one of the world's best food cities.  Real food, local markets, global influences, and unpretentious eating.  This is what food and dining should strive for, and it's easy to find in San Francisco - even when you're at celebrity chefs' restaurants.

The prime example of this is in Chris Cosentino's restaurants.  He's a celebrity chef who I love to watch on television - originality and playfulness shining on his food and personality.  Last year, I visited Incanto for my nephew's third birthday dinner.  I know what you're thinking - A 3 year old's dinner at a celebrity chef's restaurant??  Aside from a well behaved boy, the restaurant was actually incredibly kid friendly and ready with high chairs and crayons to color in cartoon pigs.  The service was friendly and well trained, and the food was impeccable - just as I imagined everything would be at his restaurant.

Flash forward half a year,  the restaurant would be closing to renovate and rejuvenate into a new concept also by Cosentino.  Flash forward another few months, and enter Porcellino.  In the same space as Incanto, with almost the same look (with some new art work) the restaurant has turned into a casual neighborhood spot.  Casual in the relaxed sense and not cheap while maintaining its classiness

You order at the counter, get a number, seat yourself, and the food is shortly brought to your table.  The menu consists of pig parts, pastas, and more.  There are familiar items from Incanto, as well as the daily blackboard of specials.

Porcellino makes celebrity chef dining highly approachable and hits all those expectations.  As friendly as Incanto was, Porcellino is somehow even friendlier - perfect for the neighborhood and those wanting a spontaneous night out.

Chicharrones, pecorino, rosemary, and chilli

Pate di Campagna, radishes, cornichons

Seasonal asparagus

Tagliatelle, ramp pesto, and asparagus

Spaghettini carbonara

Rigatoni and Incanto's pork ragu

Spaghettini, Sardinian cured tuna heart, egg yolk, and parsley

Italian sausage, broccoli di ciccio, beans, charred onions, and aioli

Porchetta, fennel, arugula, salsa verde

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