Best Italian Restaurant - 2000
L'Osteria del Forno
This here's the total North Beach experience: a tiny jewel of an eight-table storefront trattoria smack on Columbus Avenue where the neighborly waitstaff makes you feel right at home and the kitchen produces amazingly flavorful Old World delicacies. The food's necessarily simple -- the kitchen doesn't even have room for a stovetop -- but the brick-oven pizzas, daily pastas, and focaccia sandwiches are worth waiting in line for (an inevitability if you arrive at prime time), the antipasti include such temptations as speck and bresaola, there are daily entrees of great individuality, and the passing parade is what makes North Beach -- well, North Beach. And to top off its charms, the remuneration is absolutely minimal.