Acquerello, San Francisco

In Dining, Editor Picks by LA Travel Magazine

San Francisco is world renowned for its steep hills, exuberant culture, dismal weather but most of all it’s known for its food!  This city is a foodie’s dream come true. Each time we visit we make sure to check out what’s new and hot in the city for cuisine and on this last trip we found an absolute gem, Acquerello. Located in the ever famous district of Nob Hill this restaurant has been a local favorite for more than two decades.

Owned and operated by Giancarlo Paterlini and Executive Chef Suzette Gresham the restaurant has received many accolades for its amazing food, wine and service. From the very moment we were sat at our table we felt a very mixed ambiance.  Comparable to an elegant dinner with Italian royalty crossed with the comfort of my Grandmother’s house.  Although if my Grandmother had cooked like Chef Gresham, I would have visited her more often!

The owners stopped by the table and introduced themselves, giving us a brief rundown of the restaurant’s history. We decided to let Chef do her thing with a tasting menu as she so loves to do. She made sure to give each of us something different with each course along with a complementing wine pairing to enhance the experience.

The first course started off with a lightly Grilled Spot Prawn served with White Balsamic Dashi, Ginger Bud and Basil, next was a Red Pepper Budino topped with Marcona Almonds, Manchego and Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes. With our taste buds dancing the second course brought Grimaud Farms Duck Tartare with Green Peppercorn, Cherries, Arugula and Candied Walnuts. Wow what a dish; it was truly a masterpiece, Chef Gresham now you really have our full attention!

The third course was Cuttlefish ‘Tagliatelle’ with Capers, Chili Flakes, Lobster and Agretti alongside Gargati with Tavoliere Cheese Fonduta and Lobster Australian Truffle with Brioche. At this point we were so amazed that so many perfect flavor blends could come from one kitchen and found ourselves anxious for the next dishes arrival.  What would Chef surprise us with next?

The last entrée was a Snake River Farms New York Steak paired with English Peas, Pea Tendrils, Confited Clams and Lemon Purée. Magnifico!

Was there room for dessert at this point? Normally no but when we thought of the concoctions coming from the kitchen we knew we were in for a treat and just couldn’t turn it down. Chef Suzzette came out with an elaborate tower of desserts that could feed an army and we were ready to finish off this prize winning meal in style. After sampling various decadent petit fours we finished the meal with a Lemon Verbena topped with Poached Strawberries, Pepper-Chiffon Cake, Basil and Rhubarb Sorbet. A perfect ending to a perfect meal.

After dinner we were taken on a brief tour of the wine cellar and it became clear how they had received the Wine Spectator Award. Their expansive wine list is the product of 20 years of passion and dedication by the Acquerelllo staff. Featured in the cellar are many varietals including some great Italian wines, wines from the Champagne region as well as some favorites from some of the best wineries in California. The night was an absolute success; we will be back for sure! This was an authentic foodie experience and award winning meal that was truly unexpected.