Had a meal at Il Piatto last night, the first since owner/chef Matt Yohalem returned to SFe.
The place was packed. We had reservations. Tried to seat us at a miserable little table in the front room. We waited for a better table. This is a tiny space. Certainly they could figure out a better way to configure the tables. Perhaps more Parisian style layout of lines of tables all practically connected to each other.
Anyway, I had the grilled calamari with garlic aioli. Delicious. The calmari was tender and grilled perfectly. Thinly sliced onion and red peppers in a very light viniagrette came with it. My husband had the tomato basil soup, which was a puree of good tasting fresh tomatoes (where did they come from)...lots of garlic. Served cold. Very good.
I had the special: Stewed duck leg on canneloni beans with pancetta. The duck was slow simmered in redwine and marsala and then served with a demi-glace of its own juices. The meat fell off the bone, the stew was rich and deeply flavorful (it also had carrots and celery in it). Perhaps a little lighter on the salt, considering the pancetta was in the beans.
My husband had one of his favorites, the roast chicken with peppers and sausage. This was quite good, too.
For dessert: chocolate amaretto mousse for him (delish) and zabaiglione (spelling?) for me. The zabaiglione was wonderfully good, served with raspberries and strawberries. Unfortunately, the strawberries on the plate were either extremely tart or past their prime. Would've done well just to stick with the raspberries.
All in all, a good meal. Prices reasonable. Still have to do something about the seating arrangements. Also, avoid the al fresco dining...unless you enjoy the "thump, thump" of car stereo woofers on a Friday night!