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Chowdown Lunch Report: Farewell to Capp's Corner in SF's North Beach

Melanie Wong | Apr 14, 201504:22 PM

Yesterday four 'hounds enjoyed what will likely be our last lunch at Capp's Corner before it closes forever on April 19. And as it turned out, this was a first, as well as last, time for each of us too. For myself, I regret not dropping in here many years earlier. To me, the food was tasty, value-priced, and far more satisfying than I had anticipated.

What was perhaps more memorable was how friendly the welcome and service were once you stepped inside these doors.

We ordered the vegetarian minestrone soup over the salad option included with our meals, served in a family-style tureen. The basket of bread tasted like Italian French Baking Co's product.

The minestrone's fresh and delicate with only a few cannellini beans. The cabbage, carrots and celery were cooked just enough to soften and taste sweet without turning mushy. I added some of the grated parm from the shaker, but it did not change the soup much.

Filet of Petrale sole was a big portion and cooked perfectly in a thin egg wash with a lemon-butter sauce. On the full meal ($16.50), the plates included farfalle in red sauce and mixed vegetables.

Canneloni were made with delicate crepes stuffed with veal and ricotta baked in a thin tomato sauce and topped with cheese. Good enough though I would have liked the filling to be ground finer with a bit of nutmeg spice.

Linguine with mussels and clams ($14) in a white wine sauce leaned to the soft side. And none of the garlicky and sweetly briny sauce left the table.

Calamari steak doré with lemon butter caper sauce was my favorite of our four orders. A thicker double-dipping of egg wash than the sole and the saucing seemed a bit richer too. As good a version of this old school dish as I've had anywhere.

Lunch portions were ample enough to share easily. Our server brought out slightly smaller share plates and we managed to fit everything on the table by stacking up the serving plates once we'd divvied up everything.

I brought the 1997 Joseph Swan Vineyards Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir to share. Corkage charge is $15.

Dessert's not included in the lunch price. But I had to try the spumoni ($3.50), and our server was gracious to provide it on the house. Almost a triple scoop, the ice cream's not particularly rich and was mostly chocolate with only a little strawberry and pistachio. But it was studded with plenty of candied fruit and my taste buds enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Some restaurants fall apart in their final days before shutting down. Though I've no previous meals here for comparison, Capp's Corner feels like it's going out on a high note with the kitchen and servers firing on all cylinders. I'm of half a mind to sneak back in for dinner and a cocktail on Thursday if I get back to the City on time.

Capp's Corner
1600 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 989-2589
Closed Tuesday

King Calamari
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