Specchio

Specchio

Italian. Wild boar pappardell, marinara pizza or pork chops with Gorgonzola are only a few of the dishes to be found at this San Francisco Italian gem. Specchio provides a warm atmosphere and authentic Italian food for its customers. Enjoy a glass of Chianti while watching old Fellini films on the widescreens overhead.

The service perfectly compliments the atmosphere. It's casual and friendly. Your used utensils remain on the table, but clean plates are brought for every new course that is to be shared. You fill your wineglass yourself, but you are never in need of water. And when the food is ready, it's brought to the table, even if you haven't finished that last bite of salad. As it should because our second course of pumpkin gnocchi with a gorgonzola cream shouldn't have sat while my companion wiped every last drop of the sauce from the scamorza off the plate. But I get a bit ahead of myself.

The wine list is small but crafted to compliment the food: a good range of well-priced Italian table wines and a few heavy hitters for good measure. There's an Amarone for under $40 that I couldn't help but test on a previous visit.

- Excerpt from La Gondola by Genevieve Robertson