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GraceAnn Walden's Top San Francisco Picks: Perbacco Restaurant


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Top 9 Restaurants in San Francisco Bay Area


food tours

By GraceAnn Walden

Food History Tours




3640 Sacramento St. near Spruce.
San Francisco

Cuisine: Contemporary with Italian and French touches

Pluses: Lovely charcuterie or is it salumi, including chef’s own
bologna; fantastic palmiers

Minuses: Certain tables near the rear of the restaurant are in a

Don’t miss: the cured sardines, Heirloom tomato gazpacho (in season),
duck fat fries, and the broiled lobster with gnocchi.

Prices: Appetizers $9-18; entrees $22-36

Overview: This was the long-awaited restaurant of the year. Since
opening, Chef Mark Sullivan has been rewarded with filled seats every
night. Be sure to get the charcuterie selection, all house made, except

for the proscuitto. I am particularly fond of the house crudo (uncooked

fish Italian style) served with vegetables escabeche. The contrast in
flavors and texture are perfect. My favorite entrée was the Bavette
steak with the sinful duck fat fried potatoes and Bordelaise sauce. I
know, call the cardiologist after that dish. On the less dangerous
side, I enjoyed sea bass with tabouleh, cukes and tomatoes. The large,
warm palmiers are a revelation.


Mangia! North Beach - the only walking tour that gives participants the full San Francisco North Beach experience including Italian history, food knowledge, delicious tastes along the way, fun anecdotes and a 3-course lunch with wine. Celebrating 20 years of fun & food!

NORTH BEACH – Mangia North Beach!
Learn why the Italian people came to North Beach and how they lived. On our tour, we stop at an almost 100-year-old bakery, we munch on Italian cookies, sausage, focaccia and have lunch at Rose Pistola.

Here is the menu:

Marinated olives

Crisp zucchini chips

Chopped salad with Blue Cheese dressing

Spaghetti with seafood sauce

Ricotta Gnocchi with brown butter and sage (may be another pasta)



House made sorbet/biscotti


Reservations a must. There are about 8 blocks walking, in total, with many stops. We go rain or shine, but not in monsoons.
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. - $80.

North Beach tours: 2008: 2/23, 3/8, 3/15, 3/22 & 3/29.

Reservations a must. Send your check and cell phone number
PO Box 475877
SF, Ca. 94147
CELL (415) 302-5898
[email protected]

On regularly scheduled tours, you must give us at least 72 hours notice to receive a refund.

Evening Chinatown tour that starts at 4 pm.

We will visit a Buddhist monastery, a unique musical instrument store, a Fortune cookie factory, a special religious goods store, an herbalist AND a tea tasting. $90 Next: March 1.

At 6:30 pm we will stroll to my favorite white-tablecloth Chinese restaurant in Chinatown and enjoy a seven-course banquet, that includes seafood, fresh prawns, roasted squab, rice and paired wine. We meet at the corner of Sacramento & Grant at 4pm. Park at Portsmouth Square garage and walk up.

Limited to 20 people. Sorry, no vegetarians. You must like seafood, since this is a Hong Style restaurant. One course, the steamed giant prawns with garlic were alive minutes before they appear on the table.
This tour is available any day for a minimum of 10 people and up to 20.

Secrets and tastes of Nob Hill February 16 11-4pm $100
The tour includes a history of the prominent families who built their mansions on the Hill and a tour of Grace Cathedral. We enjoy a wine tasting at the Fairmont and cheese/fruit buffet, a trip to the spa at the Huntington for a look-see, and conclude with lunch at the Big 4 (two courses) and dessert at the Ritz Carlton.
We meet on California Street in front of the Grace Cathedral Gift Shop or inside at the Peets coffee stand in the basement, if it is drizzling. Dress appropriate for a church visit.
20 person minimum for a private tour.




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