What with me travelling to SF for the purpsoe of a race, I decided I had to eat as much italian Food as possible to carbo load. This is of course hilarious as my training was spotty and really acting like I'm a training athlete is just funny to me. Because I'm so not.
L'Osteria Del Forno
Their website can explain it the best:
Tucked away in San Francisco's North Beach, L'Osteria del Forno emits an old world charm that is as authentic as our traditional menu. We pride ourselves on serving Northern Italian cuisine with only an oven to cook our dishes with. Our goal is to bring the flavors of Italy with original imported products (like Reggiano Parmesan or pure extra virgin olive oil) mixed with the quality and freshness from local providers.
The secret to our success is fresh daily ingredients. We deliver hearty, authentic and skillfully prepared dishes from Northern Italy. L'Osteria del Forno is inspired by the everyday food culture of our childhood. Dinnertime was a family shared moment and is one of our most precious memories of our life.
With a limited number of tables, the restaurant appeals to intimate gatherings of faithful locals and visitors. Many guides, papers and reviewers have considered our place as a true local gem. We prefer the small coziness of our space and have avoided the pressure to expand even though the demand for tables is constant. The inconvenience of a short wait is always outweighed by the tasty food and special attention that we give to each patron.
Small and Cozy is NO JOKE. They have 15 tables (only 3 of which sit more than 2-3) and the waiting area is the street outside the restaurant. If you are a couple then you may not wait as long. Janet and I were able to get right in the last table left, but there were 3 groups of 4 waiting for a table (and the wait was up to an hour...but people weren't budging). This was an obvious sign that the food would be fantastic. I had a daily special of filet mignon (which as Janet so aptly put it, you could cut with a TOOTHPICK!) and polenta and OMG it was FANTASTIC. Janet had a pumpkin ravioli that was just as good.
The kitchen is open so you can see them preparing your dishes and for an hour or so I felt like I was back in Rome. Overall I would say expect to pay about $25 per person for a meal and wines are not overly expensive. It it ridiculously cheap for any SF restaurant!
The waiters are kind and helpful and the busboy looks like he stepped off the runway in Milan.
I can't recommend this place more!