Three of us ate at Acquerello last night. To sum it up, wonderful food. This restaurant doesnt get a lot of press on Chowhound compared to the other high-end restaurants in San Francisco, but the menu looked good to me, so we decided to go. We passed on the tasting menu, as we wanted to be able to mix and match our own choices.
We started with two appetizers, the Parmesan budino and the seared squab breast. The server described the budino as a custard, but it was not at all the consistency of custard, much lighter and cheesier. In any case, it was remarkable. But our favorite (and favorite of all the dishes) was the seared squab breast. It was served med rare (which I love for any kind of poultry) and just bursting with flavor. It was served with a warm frisee salad covered with a small egg (squab or quail?) which was also very good.
For the pasta course we tried the pumpkin gnocchi tossed with butter and sage. This was very rich with a subtle pumpkin flavor, I highly recommend this. We also had the risotto with shrimp. Although not everyone at the table loved this dish, I found it to be very good, tasting (in a good way) of the sea. Our third pasta dish was the lobster panzerotti in a spicy sauce. Definitely our second favorite dish of the evening, I just with that there had been more! The sauce really didnt taste spicy to me, maybe for Northern Italian cooking it was considered spicy?
We had just two main dishes, the porcini-dusted ocean scallops (three large scallops) and the herb-roasted loin of veal. These dishes were both solid, but not what I would call exceptional. In fact, if I had to do this over again (and I hope to go back soon), I would skip the main courses and order more of the first and second courses. Although from a $$ standpoint you probably get more food with a main course, the intensity of the flavors in these first and second courses makes them the better choice for me.
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