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Ahh… Incanto…

Last night, we snagged Larry and Jeremy and headed out to Incanto, hoping to reprise the dinner Janet and I had with my co-workers two weeks ago where the truffles (both black truffles and melted cheese as an ultra rich fondue and freshly shaved white truffles over linguine and mascarpone cheese).

Unfortunately, the white truffles were gone, and the fondue – a gift from the kitchen because the sister of the sous chef was at the table – was a one time sort of thing, though we were told that the staff would get the fondue over fresh maccheroni as quite possibly the best Mac ‘n’ Cheese in existance.

This week, the dinner focused on apples, pumpkin and fish.

We started with an amuse-bouche of tuna pate on a wafer thin cracker – a perfect interpretation of the tuna creme found in Vitello Tonno – the classic thin slice of veal in a tuna sauce. This pate featured a light citrus dressing that matched it perfectly.

After that, we moved to the appetizers. I went for the Handkerchief Pasta with Pork Ragu – an absolutely perfect handmade pasta with a spicy sauce bolognese. Janet went with a bread pudding with radiccio, and Larry and Jeremy each had a half-order of apple ravioli with black truffles.

The main courses were outstanding. Janet went with a fregola, a pasta that resembled israeli cous-cous, with picked dungeness crab. As we found out from the kitchen, 43 orders of crab went out – much to the chagrin of the prep cooks. I had a whole bass, stuffed with herbs and covered with cirtus and ginger – which is in the top fish dishes I have ever had, beaten only by meals at Tantris (Munich), Enoteca Pinchiori (Florence) and, surprisingly, an amazing Dorade from Incanto earlier this year. Larry had a close-to-perfect pork shoulder, and Jeremy had a creative pumpkin and amaretti risotto.

We finished with with the malted chocolate budino – the best chocolate dessert in recent memory – malted milk chocolate pudding and a cocoa nib biscotti and the bay leaf panna cotta.

The meal, fantastic, but the bar seemed to be a bit swamped, running out of glasses for the flights of wine we ordered – though they quickly recovered by using full size red wine glasses instead of the typical smaller white wine glasses. The Tuscan flight Janet and Larry both had was excellent for the price, but the mystery flight that Jeremy and I both had was a little weaker than usual – still great for the price, and the white selection was fantastic, but one of the reds (whose name escapes me) just fell apart too quickly, not able to stand up to the rich food. Still, that’s why it is a mystery flight – sometimes the wine is a perfect match (like the Primitivo we had at our last two dinners) and sometimes it isn’t.

If you haven’t been there, don’t go. It’s already too popular and it’s getting harder for us to get a reservation. But, if you promise not to go on any day when we want a reservation, then it’s OK.

Incanto Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, Noe Valley, San Francisco 415-641-4500

Posted in Food, General Ramblings.

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