Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Dining Out: Locanda

For months, we've walked by Locanda. Every once in awhile we'd pop in to see how long the wait was - never a wait less than an hour or more. Last night while dining with our PR team, I found out why. Amazing food. Great service.

First let me say that everyone should start with the Jewish Style Artichokes. The sweetness of the artichoke is offset beautifully by oregano, salt, and pepper. The stem was moist and juicy while the leaves were crisp. A simple presentation with full flavor. I ate my half very slowly savoring each bite.

Along with the artichokes, we ordered a couple of sides as appetizers: the brussels sprouts and the broccoli romanesco. I wasn't able to eat the brussels sprouts as they were finished with pancetta. We'd order two plates for six of us. Everyone oohed and ahhed over them and those who were sharing the plate with me, happily snapped up my portion. In exchange, I was treated to extra of the broccoli. If anchovy puts you off, don't fear; the flavor is very subtle.

Dining Out: Locanda

The table sampled the pasta family style. Three of the pastas tried were the Crescenza Tortelli (pictured above top left), the Chestnut Agnolotti (pictured above bottom left), and the Fettuccini with rabbit sugo. I think the fourth sampled was the Bucatini all'Amatriciana but I'm not sure. Everything our waiter recommended sounded so good.

I had the Radiatore "Pecora e Pecorino" - lamb ragu, pecorino, and mint (pictured above top right). My favorite dressing for pasta is a hearty ragu. There's just something about it. (My favorite dish at Farina is their seasonal Wild Boar ragu with the duck ragu coming in a close second.) Of all the pasta plates, I think I got the healthiest serving. My only criticism would have been a little less pecorino. Other than that I'd change nothing about the dish.

For dessert, the table finished with a cheese plate, a mix of cow's, sheep's, and goat's milk selections, and warm chocolate cake (pictured above bottom right). (Again, being pregnant I was treated to my very own dessert. I could get used to not having to share. Too bad my tolerance for dairy won't last past the pregnancy.)

Until last night my favorite Italian restaurant in The Mission hands down had been Farina. Now I'm torn; I think I have a tie for favorite - Locanda and Farina. I'll definitely be going back soon - I have to introduce cubes to the amazing fare and I want more of the artichokes.

Where's your favorite Italian spot?

Bon Apetit!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.