After a trying Wednesday morning, I needed a comfortable place to chill out for lunch and a good glass of wine before diving back in. I ran down the street to A16 and managed to slide in before lunch service ended at 2:30pm. A few other parties were winding down but I pretty much had the place to myself. It made me a little nostalgic for A16's early days when it was less well known and I could stretch my lunch break into the afternoon while the staff prepped for dinner.
The Acqua pazza (clams, mussels, squid, capers) appealed to me. It's $22 as a lunch secondi, or available on the $25 three-course tasting menu. It was easy for me to pick the menu instead. Each of the three courses has two choices. I ordered:
Little gems salad, radish, spring herbs, lemon, grana padano
Cookies & biscotti
and a glass of Leone de Castris Verdeca, $10
The light and refreshing white wine was a crisp and citrusy partner for my lunch courses.
Little gem salad tasted fine though the presentation was sloppy.
Acqua pazza was totally on fleek. Sweet clams, tender squid and plump mussels bathed in natural juices with fresh herbs, capers and tomato. Besides the accompanying grilled crostino, I requested bread to mop up the rest of the flavorful poaching liquid.
After eating so much bread, I had my cookie plate packed up to enjoy later. All three were terrific, and I especially liked the poppyseed sandwich cookie.
Including $1 "SF surcharge", tax and tip, my lunch and wine came to $46. A splurge but just what I needed that day.
(Disclaimer: The owners of A16 are chowhound alums and my friends. They were not present nor aware that I was there.)