Thursday, October 21, 2010

Barbacco Eno Trattoria

Foodie Lunch Date with Heather: October 2010 @ 12:30 PM
What a difference two hours make when you are sharing them with a good friend.

Once again, my beautiful foodie friend Heather and I made it to another blissful lunch date despite our very busy lives as modern gals.

The restaurant of our pick this time is Barbacco Eno Trattoria  located in the FiDi (SF's Financial District), right next to its sister restaurant, Perbacco.

So, let me get this out of the way. Barbacco uses an iPad as a drink menu instead of the traditional printed menu on paper.  Very 21st century and very cool. After looking at it like kid who found an interesting toy and pushing the "buttons," I abandoned it.  Call me old-fashioned but I was at lunch, don't want to be hooked up to cyber and just want some good old fashioned meal with my friend.


iPad as Drink Menu

Having said all of the above, Barbacco's exterior is almost non-descript. It looked like an ordinary but neat storefront. Inside is  contemporary loft with  brick walls. The lunch hour was patronized by the "cool and beautiful" or those hoping they looked the part.

The loft decor starts with high ceiling at the reception area then drops to a low modern white plastic ceiling at the dining area. I wish they kept the high-ceilings since the place is tight, packed and loud! The noise level was so high that at one point I was listening to people screaming to be heard!



Despite the well-heeled lunch crowd and image of the place, the service was friendly and unpretentious.

Heather and I started off with samplings of Italian small plates:

1. Quick-braised squid in tomato, chili and pan grattato (breadcrumbs) $8:  This dish was okay and nothing really stood out flavor-wise.



2. Grilled Sardine Bruschette $3 or 3 for $8:  I love sardines and I could have eaten half a dozen of these. Nothing stood out but the sardines are fresh.



We ordered an Heirloom Tomato Salad with cucumber, red onion, basil and olive crostini in red wine vinaigrette. We ordered the bigger serving for $9. This dish was so simple yet so fresh and so delicious! The tomatoes were sweet. Heather and I could not believe that they were only charging $9 for this hefty bowl of organic heirloom tomatoes!


As our main entree, Heather and I shared a Caponata Sandwich  ($9) which was made with grilled eggplant, agrodolce (Italian sweet and sour sauce), almonds, currants and rucola (arugula).  This also came with a simple green salad. This dish was sweet yet savory at the same time. It's like eating salad in a bread. So delicious!





Caponata Sandwich and Heirloom Salad
Heather and I shared everything. In the end we were comfortably full, feeling guilty-free and proud of ourselves for indulging yet eating healthy. We are starting to discover that it is indeed possible to be a foodie and watch your diet.

Tab: $20 per gal including one non-alc drink, tax and 20% tip.

Barbacco is a winner! Good service, good food, sophisticated ambiance and affordable prices.

FOODIE GIRL'S OVERALL RATING: 5

Food: 5
Decor/Ambiance: 5
Service: 5


Key:
0 Star: Never again!!! These people should not be in business.
1 Star: Chalk it to bad experience. Live and learn.
2 Stars: Very disappointing but there it has some good things to offer.
3 Stars: It is okay but do not expect much. I will still return.
4 Stars: I like it! I will be singing your praises!
5 Stars: I will be dreaming of you at night!
6 Stars: Perfection (or close to!)

Barbacco on Urbanspoon
http://www.barbaccosf.com/

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