Barbacco, San Francisco XMAS 2011

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

220 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

First things first: Don’t confuse Barbacco and Perbacco.

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…

First impression: well this isn’t what I expected! (Remember I was thinking of P-town not B-town). A long [marble] bar, brick walls, and [stainless steel?] columns; very narrow restaurant.

Well, look! The wine menu is on an iPad. Seems like a waste of an iPad?

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…

antipasto of seasonal vegetables ($10) – Nicole wasn’t a fan of the fennel, but loved the other veggies.

bruschette – asian pear / gorgonzola / honey ($3) – our mom loved this! The flavors were definitely cohesive and should be recreated in my own kitchen one day!

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.

lentil stew / roasted autumn squash / radicchio / pomegrante seeds ($12) – this was hand-picked by Nicole. The veg-friendly entree was hearty, well-seasoned, and who doesn’t enjoy squash?!

ooh squash

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!

Shirley picked a bottle of wine. She thought it was “ok” but honestly can’t remember specifics because of the 25 bottles she has had since then. I couldn’t even finish a glass of it.

chocolate nemesis cake ($5) – Our mom insisted on dessert and I was totally happy with her picks. This chocolate cake was not as heavy as you’d think by the picture…..

butterscotch-chocolate crunch gelato ($2) – …but maybe that is because we ate forkfuls of cake with this amazing gelato. For $2, this house-made gelato cannot be missed!

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!

PHOTO BOMB!!!!!!!!


Comments (3)

  1. foodsweatandbeers

    That braised lamb dish looks off the CHAIN. Like, I want it to be a part of my life. or my daily menu.

    It would not be on an iPad, though.

  2. glitzglamgranola

    Ohh see this is why I love restaurant reviews– I had considered going to Barbacco but am now thinking maybe I won’t go out of my way to try it for a special event! My bosses go to Perbacco all the time and I’ve always wanted to try it! But the prices look pretty awesome for SF and given my squash love, that squash-quinoa dish looks fab to me! Um as does that gelato… $2?! Apparently I need to go for dessert!

  3. Pingback: WIAW 1/17: Zero Zero | Sugar Coated Sisters

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge