An evening at Incanto, owned by Chris Cosentino, from Top Chef Masters


I feel like I start almost every blog apologizing for being away and not posting…ah such is life. August flew by. At the end of it, I traveled home to the Bay Area for my 20th High School reunion. I am so glad I went. It was so lovely to catch up with so many old friends. Here’s a photo of some of my favorite ladies.

The day after I had brunch with some old friends that are like family…and then dinner with my friend from college Teena, who I haven’t seen since a few years post college. It was so great to see her and try a new spot.

Incanto, is a nose to tail restaurant, in the Noe Valley area of San Francisco. If you aren’t familiar with the nose to tail concept, chefs aim to use the entire animal even the yucky parts. It’s considered to be environmentally friendly as you aren’t wasting any parts.

I picked Incanto, because Chris became my early favorite on Top Chef Masters, as the charity he is playing for is the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. His uncle died of Parkinson’s and my mother suffers from it.

First of all, I fell in love with the Noe Valley neighborhood. Even though I grew up in the Bay Area, I was not familiar with this part of town. There are lots of little knooks and crannies of the city and obviously there are some neighborhoods that have transitioned. Prime example…when I was growing up you never went to the south side of the Bay Bridge, unless you were going to the Esprit outlet, because that side of town was sketch…now it’s home to a beautiful MLB ballpark and is one of THE neighborhoods. Anyway, back to Noe Valley, it’s near the Castro, so it’s diverse but yet still a fun and quiet neighborhood. Like one I would live in…

Incanto has the feeling of a Tuscan home…even thought it is tucked into a big city. It’s very warm.

Note: I took these photos towards the end of the dinner…hence it was darker.

Ok so it’s fair to say that I was a tad hungover…so my Incanto visit started with a cola. A very delicious cola I might add.

Teena and I decided to share a couple of appetizers…and we landed on the Bruschetta with red peppers and the gnocchi which was a special that night.

Both of these dishes were amazing. The Bruschetta had a tangy goat cheese on it. The gnocchi was like a yummy fluffy pillow. We crushed them.

While we waited for our entrees…we saw the “Leg of the Beast” happening in the front of the restaurant. For six to eight diners…they present a braised leg of beef…with all of the fixings, served family style. It looked AMAZING. There was a giant plate of roasted corn that passed by…and then the leg of beef in a giant roasting pan. Hoping I can convince some friends to do this with me next time I go to town for the Sonoma race.

We both ordered a pasta for dinner. Teena’s was the chilli rigatoni.

Mine was the handkerchief pasta with the pork ragu.

With my sensitive stomach…I didn’t taste Teena’s but I did love this pork ragu.

It was a great dinner with a great old friend I had missed! While I didn’t walk away thinking “wow that was amazing”, it was a casual, warm and yummy place to finish up my trip.

Miss this city…