Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Incanto, San Francisco

I’d been meaning to write about this place for a while, but the food didn’t blow me away and so I never got round to it. However, the other evening’s “At the Table With...” on the Food Network Canada, reminded me of the place.

I’m a massive fan of “nose to tail” eating and I’d had my eye on Chris Cosentino at Incanto for some time. I think the moral of my visit here is never take a group that’s 50% vegetarians to a restaurant that’s all about the offal, because they’re not going to have very much to choose from.

That said, as a firm fan of offal, there wasn’t much for me to choose on this Sunday night. I did my best though.

My starter augered well. Entitled “Chef’s Last Supper” it was perfect comfort food; for the viscerally inclined. Soft, wobbly oysters, a poached hen’s egg and some crumbly morcilla, napped with pangrattato for contrast. Best starter went to the sardines with pickled fennel and radish salad. The sardines were spankingly fresh and Chris looked all smug about his choice. I broke my personal rule of not ordering risotto (too many carbs, I make a mean risotto myself and I tend to get bored after about seven mouthfuls) because it was a chicken giblet risotto. It was delicious- well cooked and the muskiness of the giblets made it more interesting, but ultimately it was just risotto, and I can make that at home.

Having watched this show tonight, I am 100% sure that we didn’t see 50% of what the kitchen can do. Chris Cosentino is the most passionate chef I have watched for a long time. I love his commitment to sustainability. His passion for the animals that he prepares. His willingness to face up to the fact that animals have to die to provide us with meat and that he cried when talking about slaughtering his first goat. This is someone that really respects animals (and I love that he jokes his son will probably become a vegan aged 16 in an act of rebellion).

There are too many places that I want to eat in in San Francisco, but I think I am going to have to go back to Incanto.

Incanto is at 1550 Church Street, San Francisco. Call 415-641-4500 for reservations.

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Anonymous Moby P. said...

Not to be any more of a pedantic twerp than I must, but can something actually be 'napped' with fried bread crumbs? Napping with a sauce means coating it, slurpy stylee, like you would dip a metal bumper in liquid chrome. Possibly it could be 'sanded' with bread crumbs, or even 'graveled' if you want to be ambitious. 'Porcipined?' 'Enrobed?''Entombed?' Buried in bread crumbs. Pacific with pangrattto? Fraught with fried crumb?

Yes yes, I really must go away now.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Suzi Edwards said...


That's a very good point.

Can I claim that I didn't realise that there was a meaning of napped that was specific to liquids and I was using the (far more) archaic nap, meaning to form a fuzzy surface (from the obsolete french nape, for tablecloth)?

8:06 AM  

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