This super-urban, relatively casual neighborhood restaurant has been one of the city’s top Italian restaurants for 15 years. James Beard Award–winning chef and owner/chef Craig Stoll is known for simple, rustic cuisine done right, while his wife, Annie, ensures the relaxed, knowledgeable service is equally pro. Yes, there are pastas here. But you’ll find just as much satisfaction in other simple pleasures, such as roasted chicken with mushrooms and olive oil mashed potatoes or grilled octopus. An outdoor patio open from mid-March through October provides more space for diners who just can’t get enough. More casual and less expensive is neighboring Pizzeria Delfina (3611 18th St.; [tel] 415/437-6800; www.pizzeriadelfinasf.com), and a second pizzeria is located at 2406 California St. in Pacific Heights ([tel] 415/440-1189).
- Erika Lennert