Wonderful gnocchi, and friendly staff!. We ate there last night (8-09-08), and was blown away. Our four person party was seated around 9:30 p.m. after a thirty minute wait. The restaurant is small and cozy. The staff was kind and friendly. We started off with bruschette. I am sure a lot of people would think you can't mess up bruschette, however I've seen it and eatin it. This was light and wonderfully balanced. I would highly recommend it. My wife had the gnocchi in the gorganzola sauce. It was the best gnocchi ever. It was rich and flavorful to the last bite. My sister and her husband both had the chicken marsala, one again wonderful. Both were cooked perfect, tender and very juicy. I had the veal saltimbocca. The saltimbocca was amazeing. It was able to be cut with just my fork, the sauce was a perfect pair. It was not overpowering at all but did what it should and made everthing melt together. The chef must have a beutiful soul to create food so wonderful and beutiful.
Want an authentic Italian ristorante experience. This is the place to eat.. Don't let any of the other negative reviews keep you from eating here. The food is excellent and the service is too. It is not a "touristy" restaurant like you will find in North Beach. Everything on the menu is familiar to anyone who as ever eaten at a small ristorante in Italy. My wife and I had a difficult time choosing but eventually settled on the caprece (very good) , house-made gnocci and the veal saltimbocca - both were excellent. Had a good medium-priced sangiovese. The ultimate price (something like $85) was perfectly in line with other restaurants of the same caliber. I'd eat here again (if I didn't live so far away.) Note: There is change of ownership notice in the window, so don't know the impact of that.
A RUDE EXPERIENCE. So, Bernal Heights is a real neighborhood area of the town and I enjoy it tremendously. All the restaurants and shops in this area are real neighborly, except for this one. This evening, September 2nd, 2007, I was at the Bank of America immediately next to the restaurant. It was late, 11PM, but I noticed the front door wide open at the restaurant and customers in the window; I needed a pen. With reluctance, I walked in to ask a dark haired girl for a huge favor since I forgot to bring a pen for a deposit, and before I finished my sentence to ask, I was told "NO" WE ARE CLOSED. I said, I just wanted to see if I can borrow a pen, didn't need food. I DON'T CARE, YOU DON'T WALK INTO A PLACE WHEN IT IS CLOSED. As I walk out, she said, HERE TAKE THIS PEN, GOODBYE. When I walked out, I immediately hear her discuss with the customers in the window how I was wrong for coming into the restaurant and why I was rude for doing so. To me, I guess that's pretty neighborly :(. Granted, I maybe should not have walked in to ask for a pen, but I don't feel too uncomfortable in this part of town since it's usually pretty friendly and understanding. Seems like this place sticks out like a soar thumb. To note, I've never had the food there and I cannot comment on that. However, I do know that I will never go this establishment because of this situation and I hope others do not as well. On this night, I also told the story to another friend who told of a similar story about how rude the staff was to him and his friends once, as well... and that the food is overpriced and not worth it. My decision is set, that was easy.
Nothing Special. Expensive mediocre food and a dull ambience.. The word "average" comes to mind everytime i have eaten here. it's ok. nothing special. definitely not romantic. you either stare at a wall or sit by a door or bathroom. and it's $8 for a salad and $20 for pasta.
Reservationist Needs to Pay Attention. We made a reservation over the phone and when we arrived, we found out that they're not open on Sundays! You'd think the person on the phone would have told us that. Six people had to find somewhere else to go. This is very poor service. Sure the web site indicates that they are closed on Sunday, but we didn't look at the damn web site BEFORE phoning.
Best Italian night.
If I wanna eat good Italian food, I always go to Valentina's. After so many times going there I got to know the chef-owner, Valentina herself, and most of the staff, they are all dedicated to provide you with the best experience that they can possible offer. If you have the chance to talk to any of the servers you'll find out that Valentina goes shopping everyday for produce that she picks with her Italian eye, and always organic if they are available. The result are very tender meets, fresh aromatic fishes, and delicious pastas; all so flavourfull and distinctivly Italian, no much fussion cousine here, which I appreciate. The ambience is couzy, and you'll have to be ready for waiting sometimes, they are busy for a reason. It is difficult for me to recomend any of the dishes, since I love all of them. The wine list is also well constructed, and you'll get the help that you need to nicely pair wine and dinner. Desserts are also unbelieveble, the tiramissu is out of this world!!
Thank you, Valentina!!
I am not sure why this restaurant is rated high.....
We sat down at right next to the entrance counter (facing at the Cortland St.). Stools were uncomfortable. We didn't want to stay for dessert.
Food wasn't good either. Since we live in the area, we will try one more time.
Uncommon Ligurian specialties make this intimate restaurant a coveted Bernal Heights destination..
The multihued pastel walls of this modest space are decked with paintings and other artwork by local artists. Friendly servers weave between the dozen or so tables, regularly packed with the neighborhood's aging baby boomers and hipster homeowners. The restaurant's frequently changing menu offers gleaming jewels scattered among the fare. Though Italian classics like eggplant Parmesan and potato gnocchi in Gorgonzola sauce are well-executed, the more esoteric items are wonderfully inventive.
Great Customer Service, Mostly Plain Food and YUMMY TIRAMISU!.
I've been wanting to eat at this place for a few months and I finally got to eat here last night. For starters, we had a delcious rolled norweigan smoked salmon filled with shrimp and mango salsa. It's a little on the salty side, but hey, it's seafood.
Then we has a fairly good salad. I say fairly good, because I have had better salads. It had pears, walnuts and spinach w/ cheese. It sounds good, but it tasted pretty bland.
Then for the main event: I had linguine with white sauce with crimson mushrooms, spinach and shrimp. It was dissapointing. Like the salad, it was pretty bland. I added salt and pepper to make it taste decent.
And the pizza? Well, the crust was good. But nothing spectacular.
But why am i giving it 3 stars? They had AMAZING customer service. They handmade my lemonade and fixed out cricketty table. They check on us and all in all, we felt cared for.
Plus, their tiramisu... YUMM!!.. If I can start dinner all over again, I'd order just their tiramisu!!!
Love this place. Great italian comfort food. Delicious thin crust pizzas. Service is a littly quirky sometimes, but it's always busy, so be prepared to wait.
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