Best Knife Sharpening

Columbus Cutlery

Last year, when Ottilia Malattia decided to retire from the North Beach neighborhood knife-sharpening store she'd run with her husband, Pietro, for 40 years (his great-great-grandfather started the business in 1850, during the Gold Rush), she turned the place over to her friend Phillip Antonelli, of the Antonelli Knife Sharpening firm. Both of Antonelli's grandfathers were traveling knife sharpeners in Italy during the late 19th century. It's still a family business, run with Phillip's wife, Jenny, and niece Nadsia Fortman. They pride themselves not only on their reasonable, prompt sharpening services (“Bring them by in the morning, they'll be ready for pickup in the afternoon,” says Jenny, at an average of $3 a knife), but also on their stock of knives (German, Swiss, Brazilian, and American), straight-edge razors, and related sharp stuff, such as specialized scissors. The walls of the tiny shop are lined with business cards from the restaurants whose chefs have their tools sharpened here.

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