Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Opening Day at Barbacco: Rustic Food, Speedy Service, Impeccable Fats

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM

click to enlarge Bruschette trio: Simultaneously polished and rustic. - VINDIVINE R./FLICKR
  • VinDivine R./Flickr
  • Bruschette trio: Simultaneously polished and rustic.
At yesterday's kickoff lunch for Barbacco, GM Umberto Gibin and Chef Staffan Terje watched as their polished second venture packed 'em in at around 1 p.m. Asked how things were going, Gibin replied, "So far, so good."

Considering Barbacco ― an eno-trattoria concept that hinges on a 150-deep, mostly biodynamic and organic wine list ― hadn't gotten its liquor license in gear yet, the crowd appeared in good spirits. The lunch crowd came out in number; we heard only one gasp of surprise when a party learned they would have to eat without imbibing.

click to enlarge The space once housed Rado's Deli. - C. ALBURGER
  • C. Alburger
  • The space once housed Rado's Deli.
Barbacco fills a more rustic and affordable niche than Perbacco, Gibin and Terje's fine dining place practically next door. But with a Cass Calder Smith design and a menu flaunting impeccably sourced ingredients, the restaurant is unavoidably refined. The trio of bruschette ($8) and beet citrus salad ($6/$9) we tasted wouldn't be out of place at Perbacco. Let's just say there's not a chance in hell you would have found Bellwether Crescenza or a shred of rucola at Barbacco's predecessor in the space, Rado's Deli.

click to enlarge Futuristic POS systems strapped to the waiters sped service along. - C. ALBURGER
  • C. Alburger
  • Futuristic POS systems strapped to the waiters sped service along.
Servers were well informed and speedy, an accomplishment for any opening day. The futuristic strap-on POS systems and check printers no doubt played a part.

Diners seemed to be kicking New Year's diets right out Barbacco's front door.

Bruschette were a popular choice, as well as Terje's hearty borlotti bean minestra with prosciutto and ditalini and two pasta dishes with meat sauces ― a pancetta-spiked tomato sauce and a classic Bolognese. We noticed the chef's diligence about fats: French fries were cooked in duck fat, while the crust in the apple crostada contained lard.

So far, so good.

Barbacco 230 California (at Front), 955-1960

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Carolyn Alburger

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • Phish at the Bill Graham Auditorium
    Phish is in the midst of a block of sold out shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (October 27-29). The Monday night concert featured a rare first set opener of “Walfredo” with the band members switching instruments for the song. The evening’s highlights included John Fishman and his iconic vacuum cleaner solo and favorites such as Chalk Dust Torture, Slave to the Traffic Light, Axilla, Rift, 2001 Space Odyssey, and Maze. The show also featured Phish’s debut of a, seemingly impromptu, version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to with roaring approval of the, singing along, crowd. With Game 6 being tonight, partying Phish fans will join Giants fans in Civic Center Plaza where there will be a World Series viewing party on a large screen set up by the City. Photography by Jamie Soja.
  • The 4th Annual Masquerotica 2014 - NSFW
    The theme this year was Carnaval Mystique for the 4th Annual Masquerotica at The Factory. Attendees were entertained by strip dance, trapeze, and live music. Photographs by Calibree Photography.