One a whim, decided to stop by this new place by SBC park. Located on fourth street, between Bryant and Brannan, this is the old Cafe Monk space (although I had never been there.) The entrance is on an alley, which adds some myster to the experience.
Inside, the space is smaller than I would have guessed. There are two and four tops with a larger, communal table behind the host and one larger round table for six. 10 bar seats, (around four overlooking the open kitchen) and a few table on a mezzanine.
The menu is small, but interesting and balanced. There are five different cured meats, four pizzas, antipasti, pasta, and main dishes.
Mussels with black pepper
Tagliatele (sp) with crab
Potatoes with tomatoes and olives
The food was really good, and had a nice variety of flavors. The proscuttio was very soft, fresh-some of the best I have had. Pizza was good, not crackly, but with plenty of chantrelle mushrooms and cheese. Could have used a dose of salt.
Mussels were ok, but rather small in size and not super interesting. Others around us were enjoying large salads that looked to be good value.
The pasta was cooked aldente, with grape tomatoes and a light hand on the sauce.
Potatoes were too large, red variety and ended up being dry. The olives and tomatoes were a good addition but couldn't bring the dish up to par.
Wine was a medium red from Piedmonte. The wine list is all italian, except for the token by the glass offerings. Being an italian list, I was lost but the GM was available to help with choices and it was a good one. Sorry to not have the name.
Mains were very large so we had decided ahead not to order one. They looked really interesting, with being overly rustic (this is a personal dislike with 'homestyle').
Overall, I would a go again. Parking is not too tough and the space is nice. Dinner for two with $35 wine bottle was $105 with tip.