Posted by Lauren
Nicole and I were both pretty busy around Christmas time, so neither of us had time to blog about dinner in San Francisco on Christmas Eve Eve. (K, what is me with Eve Eves?) Last year, Nicole, my mom, and I enjoyed the poutine, foie, and popovers at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern, but on this December 23rd (aka my half birthday!) we dined at…
Barbacco Eno Trattoria
They are right next door to each other.
I confused them. Oops.
Both feature Italian cuisine. They are on the same block for crying out loud. It is easy to get confused. Unless you speak Italian?
Google Translate told me ‘perbacco’ means golly and ‘barbacco’ means beard. Welp, I’m not sure if that’s true, but rumor has it that sister-P is refined and modern, with a hand-crafted Northern Italian menu. Barbacco is similar, but it fell short of my expectations. Barbacco is more casual, convivial, and…. I don’t know exactly. Let me try and explain…
We sat at one of the many communal tables. Someone in our party was miffed about sitting in the front of the restaurant near the [loud] hostess stand. Unfortunately, the restaurant was booked solid so we stayed put.
After a long night of shopping, food was the first thing we needed/wanted…
focaccia / fresh herbs and sea salt ($1 for two pieces) – I really really really wanted bread. It is too bad the bread wasn’t complimentary like the popovers down the street at Wayfare. Specialty’s focaccia is still my favorite.
crostone with burrata cheese / roasted beets / rucola ($12) – Another dish demolished, this one mostly by our mom. Whenever she sees beets on the menu, she likes to remind us about eating them in her childhood on the farm. We get it, you love your beets! :) I had enough burrata when I was in LA with Fran/Kerry/Andrew to need any more of it.
brussels sprouts fried in [not] duck fat/ capers / anchovy / red wine vinaigrette ($5) – we love our brussels sprouts, but Nicole isn’t a fan of duck fat… Something about being vegetarian? Luckily, our waitress said that they could be cooked sans ducky! They came out loaded with red wine vinaigrette… easy does it B-staff.
orecchiette / slow roasted lamb / braised chard / chili ($12) – I debated ordering this dish and somethingelseobviouslyforgot because this was ahhhhmmmmayyzing. The pasta shells were light, if you can believe it. The lamb was prepared perfectly – I’d say better than the lamb in my moussaka at Evvia! I practically licked the plate clean!
What’s the middle ground between “blown away” and “unimpressed”? Adequate? Average? Let’s just say this meal would have been impressive on an average day. But, this was December 23rd. This was our one night in San Francisco. This was part of our Christmas Eve Eve tradition! I wanted the golly of Perbacco and not the beard of Barbacco. (ahem unscientific translation)
We made up for it the following day at lunch….. More on that some other day!