Thursday, June 14, 2007

Despite his local Italian roots, Foodgoat hates Cleveland's Little Italy district. Why? Because it's generally mediocre.

San Francisco's Little Italy district, North Beach, is generally tasty (well, except for that Stinking Rose place, which is gimmicky and prone to gastrointestinal consequences).

It was a North Beach place, Trattoria Pinocchio, that turned out to be the restaurant discovery of the trip. Foodgoat and his brothers stumbled upon after he took them on a vigorous walk up to Coit's Tower. They stopped for drinks and appetizers and ended up staying for dinner, and liked it so much that the word spread and soon, several other visitors ate there and declared it good.

I had a seat in the back, with a view of the stoves, so every once in a while I would see a burst of flames in the background. I don't know what they were making, but it was exciting, and the food was delizioso.

The calamari was especially yummy, being crisp and tender and perfectly cooked, and the pasta dishes also were winners. Even Foodgoat thought so, and where Italian food is concerned, he's not easy to please.


  1. Not that there is anything wrong with Pinocchio but I quite enjoy The Stinking Rose. I have been eating there for years and while they have created an entertaining atmosphere with interesting murals and themes in each room I am always pleased with the top notch service and food. I used to live in North Beach and vouch, that is one garlic restaurant worth checking out.

  2. I have been to the Stinking Rose several times: I just can't take a themed restaurant seriously. Sure their garlic bread is EXCELLENT, but when the highlight of the meal is just roasted garlic on bread it leaves me desiring more.

    When we went to Pinocchio's we had a great time- every course was tasty and interesting.

    Either Pinocchio's or the Rose (heck, I am sure all of North beach): they all BLOW away the food I can get in Cleveland's Little Italy which is a minor step above the dreaded "Olive Garden".

    So lets not fight over where to eat in North Beach ;)