Top Tastes

Amuse Bouche trio w/ truly sublime Uni Flan

It’s ever a joy to return to two of my all-time favorite SF restaurants (one for fine dining/special occasions), the other, my top Italian for offal, meat and wines.

I’ve visited Incanto many times over the years, falling in love instantly with Chris Cosentino’s bold cooking, his gift for making innards palatable, and a deft hand with meats, seafood and pastas.

Michael Mina has remained one of the few special occasion destinations where I never leave disappointed, always thrilled by the balance of flavor and inventiveness… here’s hoping we won’t lose Mina’s brilliant trios when he moves the restaurant to the former Aqua space.

Now, my walk through these two greats via photos from recent dinners:

MICHAEL MINA, Union Square

Trout & Smoke Trio: Tasmanian Sea Trout w/ fermented garlic & grilled lemon vinaigrette/ Confit Trout Rillette w/ pumpernickel melba & smoked onion cream/ Sweet Trout w/ smoked potato on russet crisps
Shellfish Trio: potted Dungeness Crab w/ toast/ Island Creek Oysters w/ applewood smoked bacon, fennel remoulade/ Catalina Island Abalone w/ abalone mushroom & Pernod emulsion
One of the greatest dishes of all time: Mina’s legendary Maine Lobster Pot Pie post-dismantling (comes potted, then pie top placed on plate w/ lobster, brandy cream sauce and veggies over pie crust)
Dessert Trio: panna cotta/salted caramel ice cream & St. Germain chocolate mousse cake/ raspberry chiboust
Vegetarian Tasting Menu: Sunny-side up Jidori Egg w/ toasted brioche, Stockton asparagus

Sonoma County Duck Trio: Breast w/ nectarine compote/ Foie Gras w/ cherry marmalade/ Leg Confit w/ apricot puree & walnut stuffing


INCANTO, Noe Valley

Lucious Beef Heart Tartare ($11)
Albacore Bones loaded with meat and grilled chilies (Chili & Bones – $9)
Silky Albacore Crudo w/ charcoal ash & pickled grapes
A “wow”-inducing off-menu Cosentino special: Albacore Shank (and Tail) Puttanesca
Cornish Game Hen ($23) w/ divine zucchini waffles subtle w/ heat & honey
Incanto’s ever-perfected Panna Cotta, tonight’s was Lemon Verbena w/ strawberries ($8)
Vanilla Chocolate Toffee Chunk Ice Cream ($7.50) w/ piggy cookie