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Acquerello, San Francisco

1722 Sacramento Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 567 5432's insider take:

The beauty is in the details at elegant Acquerello, San Francisco's top contemporary Italian table. If you arrive wearing black, you'll be offered the option of a black napkin to avoid getting white lint on your clothing. Waiters move in perfect synchronicity, delivering plates in an effortless ballet, whisking them away unseen. But most impressive is the cooking. Flavors positively sprawl across the palate in such dishes as Parmesan boudino, a custardy Italian-style soufflé served with a seasonal garnish such as paper-thin fried-eggplant curlicues or the spring's first asparagus tenders. Lobster panzarotti, a variant of ravioli, is sauced with a lush lobster-stock reduction. The 65-page wine list is one of the best in the country for Barolo and Barbaresco, with 500 selections from Piedmont. A cheese cart stocked with rare Italian varieties rounds out the evening. Reservations are essential.—John Vlahides

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 5:30 to 9:30 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.