Once in a while you find a restaurant so perfect, so unassuming and so satisfying, that even after one visit it becomes an instant favorite. I first tasted Chris Cosentino’s cooking at the Anthony Bourdain book release event last November, so when a friend’s birthday rolled around, I knew I had to take him to Cosentino’s restaurant, Incanto.
Neslted in San Francisco’s Noe Valley, the place is an offal-lover’s paradise. You want beef heart? Check. Mortadella? Check. Tripe? Check.
To start, we ordered the grilled beef heart with roasted golden beets:
Internet, do you have any idea how much I love beef heart? And beets? The two together was like a marriage made in heaven. The true sign of a well-cooked beef heart (or kidney) is that it still tastes good even after it’s cooled down, and this easily stood up to the test.
For my entree, I got the Bucatini, Sardinian cured tuna heart, egg yolk and parsley:
I sometimes mix a raw egg into my rice when eating chelo kabab, or with a number of Korean stews. But I’ve never had it with an Italian pasta, and oh my, it is delicious. The tuna heart added a perfect note of saltiness.
My friend got the truffled mortadella agnolotti, which was also very good:
For dessert, I had the three-cheese plate, which was my least favorite part of the meal. It could have been because I was already full, but I’m not really a dessert person to begin with:
Incanto may not receive as much hype as some other Italian restaurants in the city (especially ones that *cough* start with a letter and end in a number *cough*), but the service was attentive yet not stuffy, the food was what offal dreams are made of, and well, it’s my favorite Italian restaurant.