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Restaurants & Bars 5

A16 on a Tuesday evening (long)

tofu_ted | Aug 13, 200409:14 PM

As a reward for teeth cleanings, my wife and I treated ourselves to dinner at A16. This wasn't spur of the moment mind you. I made dinner reservations a couple weeks prior. I asked for 6PM but got 5:45PM and was told they would hold the table for 15 minutes pass the reservation time. The upside to getting there around 6PM is that you can park across the street in a trucks only from 8-6PM parking slots in front of Gorilla Fitness. For those unfamiliar with Chestnut street, it's really busy.

We were seated as soon as we arrived, 5:55PM. Our table was in the back, against the wall near the outside? room. Tuesday was cold and sitting there was a little cool for my wife, but perfect for me. Our server, Raymond was friendly and very helpful. He never disappeared during the course of the meal. Anyway my wife started with the Tuna Crudo(12), which
was raw albacore tuna marinated with raw fennel and onions. Very good. the tuna was tasty and the veggies leant a nice crunchy counter point to the tuna. I felt the flavors went well together. I had the Tripe Napoletana(9); slices of tripe cooked with onions and other veggies in a tomato base. I really liked the dish, the tripe was delicious and not chewy. My wife passed on taking a bite, her loss!
For our entrees my wife had the Braised Pork Breast(17.5) with garlic Romano green beans, and I had the Mushroom Pizza(12.5) with prosciutto(3) and the beet w/fennel salad(4). The pork was very flavorful, but a little dry I thought. My wife was happy with it so this was just a matter of taste. The green beans were garlicky, and almost over cooked. My pizza was excellent. The crust was great and the mushrooms and prosciutto made for happy mouthfuls. I tried some of the chili oil, but it was a tad bit too hot for me. The beet salad was very good, beets were very sweet, the fennel was OK, but I'm not sure what it added to the dish. My wife liked the pizza and the salad. For wine, Raymond suggested a carafe of barbazzale(15), a nice fruity red wine that went well with the pork and pizza. We both had leftovers, but not for lack of trying. For dessert, my wife had the chocolate Hazel Nut torte(6) w/decafe and I had the assorted Biscotti/cookies(5) w/double espresso. Both desserts were loved by their respective parties, I'm not a big fan of hazel nuts, but my wife enjoyed the little biscotti. The only real problem during the entire meal was the decafe coffee. It was really bad. My wife can't have caffeine so we are always on the lookout for a good cup of decafe. Not here, maybe we should have ordered a decafe latte or something?

The restaurant never really filled up, just comfortably busy. There were deuces on each side of our deuce that were empty until we were about to leave, 7:30. But then maybe 7:30 is when it starts getting really busy? Hmmm.

We both enjoyed our meals, desserts and with the noted exception, out entire dining experience. What really surprised me were the reasonable prices. In SF you can buy 14$ cheeseburgers so prices here were a nice surprise. We will definitely be back and have more pizza and try some pasta and ...

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