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Piazza Pellegrini report

george | May 6, 2006 12:27 AM

Yesterday, we decided to give Piazza Peligrini a try. Located on Columbus near Filbert, several restaurants have come and gone in this location, which was once a hardware store that "complimented" Figone Hardware on Grant.

The space has been nicely renovated and is very smart in appearance. We had to eat early and arrived at 6:30. During our meal, there were only 3 other tables occupied – the place was empty.

Two of us shared Timballo di Vedura antipasti – described as layers of grilled vegetables, tomatoes and mozzarella mostly because is was recommended by the waiter. It was a nice presentation, with the “stack” surrounded by confetti of tomato dice and drips of herb-infused olive oil. The vegetables – eggplant, zucchini and another type of squash that had a very tough skin were okay, but there was no cohesion to this dish. Also, I may be ignorant about this, but every ‘timballo’ that I have had in Europe was something that was baked in a ramekin. This was just a loosely stacked stack.

My partner ordered the “Salmone con caponata” and enjoyed it, although a few of the baby potato wedges seemed to be left over from lunch – a little tough and reduced flavor.

I had the Crab Ravioli special, served in a tomato cream sauce that had a nice crab bisque flavor. The ravioli were house made with spinach dough. They were average sized and I think that there were only 8, and as they were so good, 8 was not enough. Good thing that there was plenty of bread to sop up the great sauce.

We shared a dessert – profiteroles with hazelnut gelato. Again it was a nice presentation and the hazelnut gelato was wonderful, but the puffs, while not soggy, were a little damp.

My partner did not want wine, so I drank two glasses of the Cloverdale Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon which was quite good.

The service was friendly and professional, but there was a very subtle version of the North Beach “hustle” on the outside of the restaurant.

The bill for two, including tax and tip was $76, which was quite reasonable. While not everything about this meal was great, I am guessing that if one knows what to choose on the menu, one could have an excellent meal for a reasonable price in this beautiful restaurant.

Next time, I will follow the waiter’s wine recommendations but not his food recommendations, no matter how cute he is.

Piazza Pellegrini
659 Columbus Ave
San Francisco


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