Thursday, November 11, 2010

Incanto: San Francisco, CA

I guess you could call this a lost meal now found.  EHK had been holding these photos hostage since Febuary and now I get to post about it. This was actually our "Valentine's Day" meal. We aren't big into this Hallmark holiday since everything is crazy expensive and booked for what? Because the card industry tells us that this is the one day that you gotta tell the special person in your life that you love him/her? So what did we do? We didn't go out on the exact date but we happened to both be in town to celebrate Chinese New Years with the respective families and wanted to do something special in the City after all the roast pork and fire crackers.

I had been longing to check out Incanto after listening to a radio interview of Anthony Bourdain in which the radio jockey asked him what was the one place he always wants to go to when he's in the City and he emphatically said this place. So we made reservations and off we were later that week to a meal that would leave us wowed by the end of the night.

gratis bread and olive tapenade
First came out the gratis, a spread of bread and cup of olive tapenade. A lovely offering which I wish I hadn't indulged so much in by the end of the night since there was so much food that followed this.
"Piglet" Baccalone salumi platter
Since we planned to order a few things we decided to go with the smallest order of the salumi plate. A delectable savory spread of cured meats and accoutrements. Our favorite item on the plate was the spreadable andouille and we made sure that portion of the plate was spotless before the waiter took the plate away. It was creamy and almost raw in texture, flavored with various spices... we couldn't get enough of this over a warm slice of bread.
Spaghettini, Sardinian cured tuna heart, eqq yolk & parsley (half portion)
Next up was a half portion of the Spaghettini. Who knew a combination of a handful of items could blow us away? Pasta was cooked perfectly, the cured tuna heart lent a slight briny-saltiness to the dish and the egg yolk lent a velvety rich finish.
Special for the night: Braised Yellowtail collar and grapes
We are huge fans of eating collar. Its so succulent and tender. The meat is tucked into little crevices, nooks and crannies so it requires a little work getting to the morsels. This work doesn't bother us though since the rewards are well worth it.  The braised grapes were interesting as I've never had grapes prepared this way... it definitely had a heightened sweetness. The collar wasn't what we really expecting though. A nice twist as we are use to a more simple preparation of broiled with salt and pepper.
Yellowtail, endive, and blood orange agrodolce
I was a little hesitant to order this dish since we were ordering the collar to share already. However, I was really in the mood for more fish that night and I'm really glad I went with my gut. I ended up licking the sauce off the plate by the end of the meal! The fish was well seasoned and the vegetables cooked perfectly but oh my ... it was all about the sauce. I think of sauce as analogous to the finishing touches a lady puts on before an evening out like the statement jewelry pieces and lovely shoes. A dish alone can be pretty good but its the sauce that elevates it.
Calf's sweetbreads & kidney, farro, radish, and molasses sauce
EHK wanted to go with a more richer dish to balance my lighter pick. Oh yes... it was rich. Lovely, sumptuous flavors and textures but these cuts of meats were heavy on the palate by the last bite.

Would we come back? Yes!!! We are actually planning a return trip when we come home for the holidays at the end of the year. Hopefully it'll be every bit a lovely meal as this was.


1550 Church St.
San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 641-4500
W-Sa: 5:30p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Su-M: 5:30p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tu: Closed


  1. OMG! I am going crazy now! Everything looks soo good, the pasta, the sweetbreads & kidney. Been wanting to go to Incanto for the whole pig dinner but can't find enough brave pple (sob)

  2. Hey SC,

    I totally want to get the whole pig dinner too! Let me know if you are 2 souls shy. You can count us in :)

  3. OMG! I am going crazy now! Everything looks soo good, the pasta, the sweetbreads & kidney. Been wanting to go to Incanto for the whole pig dinner but can't find enough brave pple (sob)


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