Incanto means charm when entered into an online Italian-English dictionary and if that is an accurate translation than it is the perfect word for what is an ideal example of a San Francisco neighbourhood restaurant. This place humms like a turbo charged Ferrari engine and is as sharply designed as its food is prepared. We sat in the back cave-like room with murals and
an arched brick ceiling adding character to a place already full of confident grace.
We sampled a deep brown lentil soup with dense sausage, a savory cabbage and potato salad with a tart, creamy dressing, duck confit salad with arugula,
filet mignon, pork ragout on flat pasta, and ribbon pasta with sauteed broccoli. All the dishes were lovingly created and presented with not a note out of place. The flat pasta deserves special mention. It was microns thin but had both the strength and suppleness of an edible masterpiece that remains with you long after the meal has ended.
The wine selections are monumental, highlighting the masterful wines of Italy, which I believe rank as amongst the finest in the world. We were treated to a
1998 Brunello De Montalcino that married the food
in gracious harmony.
Incanto is a place where the tourist crowd has not yet tread. It stands for what remains possible in SF but is seemingly harder and harder to find.