Last night a friend who lives in Noe Valley invited us out to Incanto. It's been on my list for a while so the wife and I sped right over. We liked it a lot although it's a little noisy for my taste, but all restaurants seem to be like that.
The service was ideal. The servers were attentive without being obtrusive, and extremely knowledgable about the food and wine. Earlier posts on this board had me worried, so I was glad that they seem to have really improved this. Our server was able to steer me to a perfect wine for our meal.
We started with the warm olives (beautiful) and then the signature handkerchief pasta with pork ragu (awesome!) A glass of wine, a big bowl of that pasta, a good movie or game on tv, and I'd be a very happy camper for a long Sunday afternoon.
The desserts were also exceptional. I especially liked the bay leaf scented panna cotta, which was the perfect finish to our meal.
But all this is well-trodden ground. The reason I'm writing is the entrees. To be honest, we all wished we'd skipped the entrees and simply had starters, wine, pasta, and dessert. My wife and friend had the whey-braised pork, which was .... boring? Just a plate of stewed pork. Nicely done, braised with spring onions or ramps, tender and tastey, but I've had pork just as good for 1/3 the price.
I had the lamb's neck. I've never had this before and didn't know what to expect. What I got was a 3 inch slice of the neck column, braised until it was fork tender. My first bite was "ewww, this has aged a little too long." But my brain kept saying a restaurant this nice won't serve food that has gone off. The meat was very fatty and rich, and had such a strong mutton/gamey odor that it was actually unpleasant. My stomach did a few flip-flops on the way home and I actually had some doubts about whether I would keep it down. Is this right? Is lamb neck supposed to be like that and I just ate too much rich food, or did something go wrong in the kitchen?