Deelish | May 11, 200401:17 PM     7

The evening started out with a good omen when I pulled up to a parking place only half a block away without any round the block searches, granted it was only 5:45p.m. but it was Saturday. I had called ahead earlier in the day but with no luck for a reservation. The person who answered the phone said arriving before 6:30 was pretty safe for walk-in or bar seating.

As soon as we walked in the door a friendly guy from behind the bar informed us of our options. We could have an outside table or sit at the bar, we chose the bar (which only had 3 people sitting at it). After we settled in, and our preferences for food and wine were acknowledged, place settings were expertly assembled in front of us, menus in hand.

We started with their brushetta topped with white anchovies, red peppers. This dish was the perfect start for it was just a tease but so flavorful, it set up your taste buds for what was to come.

Then came a crab and avocado tower, which turned out to be simplicity at its best with juicy scrumptous crab and perfectly ripe avocado layered in a small dome (think yogurt container) surrounded by a tart lime-avo dressing. Divine!

The next 2 dishes were their famous swordfish rolls (which we found a little salty because of the overabundance of olive caper relish) but still easily and happily ingested, and the dish I was waiting for, octopus/celery/potatoes layered in a personal size eye shaped terrine. While I was not sure of the combo, the octopus was the best I have had outside of Kalamata (and I try them everywhere I can). I can't stop thinking and tasting that octopus. My dining companion ordered arugula/fennel/parm salad for dessert while I slurped down a just melting lemon sorbet with vodka and prosecco.

The waiter/barman who attended to our needs was polite, knowledgeable, so adoit at his job. He was a 20 something hip guy, clearly enjoying his work and he treated us (2 middle-age women) as if he really cared. He gave my companion a small shot of the dessert drink and our neighbors as well, as we had struck up a conversation with them.

I have to apologize now, I am so bad at remembering wine. We started with 2 glasses of a gorgeous Italian white that was perfectly balanced, dry and aromatic and continued with 2 glasses of a Sangiovese that complimented every bite. Wine was $7/8 for large glasses.

The meal was $86. + a large tip.
2227 Polk Street
415 928-8025
Sunday-Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m

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