Posts Tagged ‘Noe Valley’

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Incanto…what can be said about this place that hasn’t been said before.  The hubs has been dying to try this place since he first saw it on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations San Francisco episode.  Bourdain can recommend cold mushy peas and the hubs would want to try it, so you can imagine what salted pig parts does to the man!  To say that we were excited to finally try out this place is an understatement.

All in all the experience and the food was excellent.  The restaurant itself is warm and inviting, albeit a little boisterous.  We were actually seated in the Dante Room which is a small private dining room usually reserved for group dining, so it was a lot more intimate than the main dining room.  As per usual, we were given a basket of bread to start, which also came with an olive tapenade spread! I am really loving the spreads these farm fresh restaurants give as an alternative to butter!

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For appetizers, we ordered the Boccalone Salumi Platter, which comes in three sizes, piglet, sow, and boar.  We went with the piglet, but only because we decided to share a pasta dish as an appetizer too and it proved to be just the right size.  We selected the Handkerchief Pasta & Rustic Pork Ragu.  Both dishes were delicious and a particular highlight was the roasted garlic bulb on the salumi platter.  I looove garlic so it was a great complement to the cured meats.  For our entrees, I ordered the Pork Belly dish while the hubs tried the Goat dish.  I didn’t try the goat but the hubs seemed to enjoy it.  As for the pork belly, well, let’s just say it was THE BEST PIECE OF PORK I have ever tasted! And I don’t say that lightly.  It literally just melted in my mouth.  The hubs even had the nerve to pull the “hey, what’s that” move and steal a piece off my plate!  Needless to say, I will definitely be coming back again!

Again, rather than try their desserts, which I’m sure would’ve been just as delicious as their entrees, we opted for a stroll and ice cream again.  Since we were near the Bernal Heights area, we walked a few blocks over to Mitchell’s Ice Cream.  Mitchell’s is just as popular and tasty as Bi-Rite Creamery but offers very different flavors.  While Bi-Rite tends to be more gourmet-y (yes that’s a word), with flavors like salted caramel and honey lavender, Mitchell’s flavors are hawaiian-esque or asian-y, with tropical flavors like halo halo, ube, and ginger.  Between the two of us, we tried the ube, white pistachio, mango, grasshopper pie, and black walnut O.O!  So, yeah, they were all good 😀


1550 Church Street, between 28th and Duncan St.

Mitchell’s Ice Cream

688 San Jose Avenue, between Valley & 29th St.

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Last Friday night eats was at a Firefly, a quaint neighborhood restaurant that’s tucked away in a residential area of Noe Valley.  Upon entering you get the sense that the place is mostly frequented by locals.  The atmosphere was lively without being noisy and felt very warm and inviting.

After ordering, they brought out a loaf of bread that was complimented with a carrot and bean spread.  It was so delicious I very nearly licked all of it off the knife, until the hubs gave me his please don’t embarrass me look.  We ordered the Dueling Kona Kampachi, as an appetizer, which is a white fish prepared two ways, grilled and tartare.  The grilled version had a sweet buttery taste but the tartare was light and refreshing.  The hubs had the Seared Scallops entree, which he ordered after seeing so many other diners ordering it as well.  I’m not a big fan of scallops but these were a-mazing.  So good that next time I want to order my own plate and have each and every one of them to myself.  Ever see the Friends episode where Joey gets upset that his date tried his food?  Yeah, well, that’s how I’d feel about these scallops!

I ordered the Roasted Duck Breast, which was very flavorful, especially when paired with the figs.  The hubs and I opted to skip dessert in hopes of finding something else and I’m so glad we did!  Just down the street from Firefly, we stumbled upon Pasta Gina, an Italian deli/specialty market.  We walked in unsure of whether they even had any desserts and almost walked straight out of there since all we saw were savory items, until I saw a sign for fresh cannoli.  Being from NYC, the hubs and I have missed all the wonderful italian pastry shops and being able to grab a good cannoli whenever we wanted.  Well, let me tell you, this did not disappoint! It was better than a lot of cannoli’s we’ve had in NY.  Even at a whopping $6 a piece, I highly recommend trying the cannolis here.  They were filled to order so that the shell stayed fresh and crunchy.  The filling was just the right amount of sweetness with chocolate chips sprinkled throughout.

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If you’re looking for a neighborhood-y restaurant with delicious food, attentive staff, and an unpretentious atmosphere without having to make a reservation weeks in advance, I’d recommend Firefly.  And if you ever need a lovely take-out option, I’d suggest giving Pasta Gina a try.  With a selection of pasta, cheese, wine, and dessert, you can pick up a whole meal for a romantic night in ;).


4288 24th Street, between Diamond & Douglass St.

Pasta Gina

741 Diamond Street, between 24th & Elizabeth St.

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