Opening Day at Barbacco: Rustic Food, Speedy Service, Impeccable Fats

Categories: Pop Review

l.jpg
VinDivine R./Flickr
Bruschette trio: Simultaneously polished and rustic.
​At yesterday's kickoff lunch for Barbacco, GM Umberto Gibin and Chef Staffan Terje watched as their polished second venture packed 'em in at around 1 p.m. Asked how things were going, Gibin replied, "So far, so good."

Considering Barbacco ― an eno-trattoria concept that hinges on a 150-deep, mostly biodynamic and organic wine list ― hadn't gotten its liquor license in gear yet, the crowd appeared in good spirits. The lunch crowd came out in number; we heard only one gasp of surprise when a party learned they would have to eat without imbibing.

rsz_barbaccooutside.jpg
C. Alburger
The space once housed Rado's Deli.
​Barbacco fills a more rustic and affordable niche than Perbacco, Gibin and Terje's fine dining place practically next door. But with a Cass Calder Smith design and a menu flaunting impeccably sourced ingredients, the restaurant is unavoidably refined. The trio of bruschette ($8) and beet citrus salad ($6/$9) we tasted wouldn't be out of place at Perbacco. Let's just say there's not a chance in hell you would have found Bellwether Crescenza or a shred of rucola at Barbacco's predecessor in the space, Rado's Deli.

rsz_insidebarbacco.jpg
C. Alburger
Futuristic POS systems strapped to the waiters sped service along.
​Servers were well informed and speedy, an accomplishment for any opening day. The futuristic strap-on POS systems and check printers no doubt played a part.

Diners seemed to be kicking New Year's diets right out Barbacco's front door.
Bruschette were a popular choice, as well as Terje's hearty borlotti bean minestra with prosciutto and ditalini and two pasta dishes with meat sauces ― a pancetta-spiked tomato sauce and a classic Bolognese. We noticed the chef's diligence about fats: French fries were cooked in duck fat, while the crust in the apple crostada contained lard.

So far, so good.

Barbacco 230 California (at Front), 955-1960

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie

My Voice Nation Help

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...