The Long Hello

Emma revives the grand North Beach tradition of family-style dining

More family-style camaraderie is available at dessert time, with two tasty opportunities to share and share alike. The cheese tasting offers up five thoughtfully eclectic, perfectly presented varieties of curd-separated goodness: a molto creamy/pungent Gorgonzola, a fresh, tangy Napa goat cheese marinated in amber olive oil, and three disparate hard cheeses, including a tongue-tingling pecorino, another studded with black peppercorns, and thick, crumbly sheets of Parmigiano. (A bunch of grapes would've been nice alongside, however.)

The dessert tasting is another smorgasbord of postprandial delights: a warm and fragrant peach-blueberry crisp; a biscuity shortcake overflowing with whipped cream, blackberries, and raspberries; a uniquely creamy, pleasantly boozy tiramisu; a silken-tangy lemon tart enclosed in a buttery (if indestructible) shortbread crust; and, one of the evening's few misses, an unfortunate, tasteless biscotti. (You can also get the cheeses and the desserts individually.)

The wine list, which is under the supervision of Eugenio Jardin, Eos' sommelier extraordinaire, is predictably wide-ranging and thoughtfully chosen, with a preponderance of Italian and California wines to complement the house cuisine. There are 10 wines by the glass as well as four draft beers. On top of that, service is pleasant and informative, and -- no small feat -- every one of the musical selections filtering through the stereo speakers is a pleasure and a delight. Looks like these days Emma is more than just a great place to sip and unwind.

Designer Anna Veyna and chef Mark Lusardi offer up Italian-American cookery with a post-Joe’s outlook at Emma.
Anthony Pidgeon
Designer Anna Veyna and chef Mark Lusardi offer up Italian-American cookery with a post-Joe’s outlook at Emma.

Details

673-9090

Open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday 6 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6 to 10:30 p.m. (bar opens at 5 p.m.). Reservations accepted. Wheelchair accessible. Parking: difficult. Muni (within a block): 15, 30, 39, Mason Street cable car. Noise level: pleasant.

Raspberry Bliss $7
Antipasti $8.50
Sweet corn soup $5.75
Chicken cooked two ways $16.50
Grilled rare ahi $20
Cheese tasting $15
Dessert tasting $20

2237 Mason (at Chestnut, in the San Remo Hotel)

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