If you missed my last post, I am doing a "Greatest Hits" series on restaurants that have stood the test of time and continue to provide an exceptional dining experience after a decade or more of service. For the second installation of "Greatest Hits," I am featuring a restaurant called A16.
A16's flagship restaurant was founded in 2004 on Chestnut Street in San Francisco's Marina District. Since then, A16 restaurants have been opened in the United States in Oakland, California and in Japan in both Tokyo and Yokohama. A16 also has a Michelin-star-winning sister restaurant called SPQR, located in San Francisco's Lower Pacific Heights district.
A16 is named "after the autostrada which runs from Puglia (the home of burrata) to Naples, the heart of pizza country." When you visit, be sure to partake of both and so much more.
The space at A16 is warm. With cork floors, dark leather banquettes, a cozy, covered patio and whimsical art, you will feel right at home. The walls are adorned with Kelly Tunstall paintings of "mermaids, twins, and other creatures...[which exist] as a mirror of our most fantastic selves, or as we exist in dreams."
A16 is owned and operated by award-winning wine director and friend, Shelley Lindgren. Not only is Shelley a wine genius, she is one of the kindest and most hospitable people I know. These characteristics come through in the food, the space and the wine. And speaking of the wine, the multiple-page, award-winning, leather bound, Italian wine list, features some of the best wines from Italy's most renowned producers.
Burrata, crostini, olive oil, sea salt.
For a twist on this burrata appetizer, visit the Oakland location where they offer burrata with dragoncello and pistachio or a smoked version of this delicious cheese.
Fava bean puree, radicchio, crostini.
Chef’s selection of cured meats, cheeses, taralli and house made pickles.
Fennel sausage, rapini, fior di latte, grana padano, garlic and argula.
All of the pizzas at A16 are made according to Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) requirements. VPN requirements include that pizzas be made using specific temperatures, ingredients, equipment, and methods that would be used in Italy. There are currently fewer than 100 VPN certified restaurants in the United States, of which A16 is one of only 12 in California.
Tomato, spicy soppressata, smoked mozzarella, pecorino, chili, garlic.
Pizzas are also served uncut at A16, in the traditional Italian style. At A16, as in Italy, pizza scissors are provided so that patrons can cut their own slices.
Wild mushroom, garlic, chili, caciocavallo, herb ricotta, parsley.
Squid Ink Tonnarelli
Calamari, shrimp, octopus, cherry tomato, capers, parsley, lemon.
Guanciale, onion, tomato, chili, oregano, pecorino.
Wild mushroom, leek, chili, liaison, grana padano.
Chocolate Budino Tart
Bitter chocolate mousse, sea salt, olive oil.
A16 is a restaurant for every occasion. I have dined solo at the bar, gone on a very special first date, gathered family for a reunion, organized a fund raiser, reconnected with friends and attended a wedding rehearsal dinner at this acclaimed, southern Italian gem. No matter the affair, it has always been an extraordinary experience.