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Best Mediterranean Restaurant San Francisco 2007 - Belden Taverna

The Mediterranean Sea covers a lot of global acreage, lapping as it does at the shores of southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, but most Mediterranean restaurants only dip their toes in one or two of the region's cuisines. Belden Taverna is gustatorially inclusive enough to employ the basin's wide array of flavors in dishes that are at once dazzling on the tastebuds and satisfying to the soul. Flatbreads are served with a light and vibrant hummus; bittersweet radicchio is wrapped in pancetta and served on a bed of spinach, goat cheese, and herbs; a saffron-perfumed paella overflows with prawns, scallops, and fennel sausage; wild mushrooms ribbon a creamy, earthy risotto; tender, slow-roasted lamb falls off its shank into a ratatouille of peppers and zucchini; succulent grilled figs are dressed in a bright pomegranate vinaigrette. Relaxing over one of the region's licorice-sweet aperitifs along (occasionally) balmy Belden Alley, you could almost be in Barcelona, Naples, Marseilles, Algiers, or some other tasty and herb-scented locale.
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