The offspring of Perbacco, Barbacco feels homier than its prototype next door. Gone are the ties—from the waitstaff and the patrons—while the dense seating and low ceiling create conviviality anchored by a menu and wine list that are meant for sharing. It’s a dizzying list of small plates, mostly $14 and under, mostly in Italian—each a stop on a gastronomic journey of the Apennine Peninsula (and Sicily). The wine list ventures further afield, focusing on natural wines, with 50 choices offered by the 3- or 6-ounce pour, quarto or mezzo. We turned to our Milanese waiter for guidance—Alsace sylvaner with asparagus alla piastra, Lambrusco with ciccioli and mostarda di fruta and Sicilian nero d’Avola with duck salsiccia and red onion marmellata. A ten-day tour of the most authentic Italian kitchens condensed into a single evening, without the jetlag or airfare.
220 California St., San Francisco, California
This story appears in the print issue of June 2010.
Like what you read? Subscribe today.