Spanish tapas in a cozy, lively Noe Valley location..
Mixing a love of Spanish tapas with a dedication to California ingredients, Contigo, like L'Ardoise in the Castro or Gialina in Glen Park, is that rare neighborhood restaurant worth crossing town for. Copious blond and redwood the give the snug dining room a pleasant cabin-like feel, and there's a small patio out back that holds a few seats and the chef's herb garden. From the open kitchen come tiny pica-pica plates and platillos which stay authentic to Barcelonian recipes while using local, organic food producers and a few imported delicacies, like the extremely rare Jamon Iberico de Bellota. Prices are fair for the quality, but keep in mind that for big appetites all those small plates will add up to a fat bill. The highlight of the all-Spanish wine list is the cava selection, although a neighborhood restaurant like Contigo really ought to have at least a few glasses of wine for under $7. But, no matter: Contigo's a lively and tasty, foreign yet homey, solid if solitary reason to visit Noe Valley at night.