The Mr. and I celebrated our anniversary dinner last Monday at Locanda. This place has only been open for 6 months but I’ve been only hearing raving reviews left and right. So when we got our table about a month ago I was pretty excited about celebrating our special day at one of the hottest restaurants in town.
I knew I couldn’t expect anything less of Locanda knowing that this is a sister restaurant to Delfina and Defina Pizzera, another wonderful restaurant and best thin-crust pizzeria in the city you gotta try! But you know how sometimes when there’s too much hype on something, you can walk out feeling totally disappointed? Well, this was absolutely NOT the case with Locanda!
Everything on the menu was very unique, and most importantly, all the flavors were very well balanced. Like my sardine pasta dish, it can go very wrong because if you don’t know how to balance the flavors it can taste very salty and fishy (or it can taste just like another bad Asian dish.) But this dish wasn’t like that at all. The taste of the sardine wasn’t overpowering. I still tasted the fish but it was very well balanced with a citrus sauce, a bit of the fennel spice and a bit of the natural saltiness from the capers. You can literally taste every flavor in this dish yet it still all work very well together. Just perfect and divine!
While we were pretty satisfied with our antipasti and pasta dishes, I can’t truly judge a restaurant until I have my final course – the dessert! For someone who always have room for sweet things, it all comes down to the dessert for me. This is where I determine a “good” restaurant from an “ah-maz-ing” restaurant.
My Mr. ordered a vanilla gelato with double shot espresso. While this sounds super simple and easy, it was the perfect combo for bitter and sweet, cold and hot. I’d say this is a sophisticated dessert – a different twist to your typical brownie and ice-cream yet still satisfies that same taste bud…okay, maybe a tad stronger because of the double shot espresso!
I was all over my ricotta fritta. It was soooo friggin’ good! The frittas were these soft, pillowy ricotta donuts and were drizzled with a touch of citrus caramel and lemon thyme. I can’t even describe to you how happy I was having those in my mouth. Along with my foamy cappuccino, I was in pure heaven!
This is definitely a place where I want to go back and take my friends. The ambiance was casual, cozy and chic. The staff was friendly and very knowledgable of the menu, and the pricing was not at all over-the-top expensive. I think Locanda really shows off what San Francisco cuisine is all about.. simple food, great taste, creative menu, friendly service and not at all showy. :)
ON MRS.’ MENU
Antipasti // Jewish style artichoke
Pasta // Fusilli – Sardines, Fennel pollen, Currants, Capers
Dessert // Ricotta fritta, Citrus caramel, Lemon thyme
ON MR.’S MENU
Antipasti // Fried duck egg “al Lionese – Smoked pancetta
Pasta // Casarecce – Beef cheek sugo, Celery, Parmigiano
Dessert // Vanilla Gelato, Double shot espresso
Locanda – Osteria and Bar, 557 Valencia Street, San Francisco, Mission