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Restaurants & Bars 13

Frascati report

pane | Mar 5, 2007 12:25 PM

Last night I went to Frascati in Russian Hill with a friend who lists it among her favorite restaurants. Though the company was exceptional and we had a good time, the food was fairly mediocre.

The two-level dining area is very pretty, with warm lighting from multiple chandeliers. I was with a female pal from work, so the flattering light didn't lead to a romantic interlude, but it was welcome nonetheless.

On my friend's recommendation we split the bread salad, which was very good, with lots of crunchy lettuce ribs nicely interspersed with grilled bread. It was a bit too vinegary and could have used a tad more olive oil--luckily the olive oil bottle from the bread plate was still on our table, so I self-administered another dose.

My friend's lamb chops were very tasty, cooked a perfect medium rare. If I had to return, I would order the lamb. Unfortunately, I went with the pork chop. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the excellent pork dishes at Canteen (chupacabra, my love!) and Incanto, but this fell far short of the mark. It was tough and tasteless, dressed with tiny cubes of green apple that did little to inform or enhance the flavor. I brought 3/4 of it home and wished I had a dog to eat my leftovers.

Finally, we split the chocolate bread pudding, which was a huge portion (like the bread salad), perfect for splitting. It was served warm and topped with ice cream. It was good, but not astounding.

Our server was very friendly, but didn't seem entirely comfortable with the wine list. I asked for help pairing my pork chop with a glass and she seemed a bit flustered. Eventually I settled on a zinfandel which was good but, following with the theme of the evening, not astounding.

Overall, dinner was OK--a B minus in my book. Though the lamb chop, bread salad and bread pudding were solid enough, nothing seemed fresh or exciting. It was a comfortable neighborhood bistro, but at $50 per person, there are lots of places I'd rather eat.

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