E Tutto Qua

by janet on July 29th, 2008

I’m headed up to the bay AGAIN, this time for Shimi’s wedding, for which I am making her cake (and am working on it furiously right now)…and that reminded me of the LAST time I was up here, for an entire bachelorette party WEEKEND! After driving up from LA with Cara in her fabulous but fabulously expensive-gas-guzzling Mercedes, and after a bottle of wine in the hotel, and after presenting Shimi with her goodie basket that included a his/hers joint vibrator/cockring from me and Cara, and after walking in the extreme June cold, we finally arrived, one hour late for our reservation, to E Tutto Qua, in the North Beach neighborhood.

The manager couldn’t be mad, though, after seeing 18 girls totally decked out and rushing into the restaurant with nipples erect from the cold. We were seated at a lovely window table on the second floor, and I snagged prime real estate directly across from Shimi, the bride-to-be.

Cara is my food soulmate. She is also the only other non-married/engaged one out of our high school group, so we often stick together at these weddings. Now we can get officially stuck together thanks to the same-sex marriage ruling. Perhaps we’ll take a jaunt over to Sacramento and make our love official this weekend.

Anyway, both of our eyes (all four of our eyes??) lit up as soon as we hit on it on the menu: steak carpaccio!

Cara: Do you want to-
Me: YES.
Cara: The carpaccio?
Me: YES.

It’s pictured top. Isn’t it gorgeous? Though there was too much crap on it. The parm slices should have been as thin as the meat, and they would have done with half as many capers. When I eat raw meat, I want to TASTE it, you know? WINK WINK.

This is MY kind of beet salad. Many many beets, just barely cooked through, and a mountain of goat cheese and pine nuts. Despite what the inimitable Bourdain says, I loved the verticalness of the presentation. I don’t care if it’s played out. It hasn’t been played out in the beet salad arena!

Let me backtrack a moment to describe our server. He was extremely nice. Extremely. He also had the most over-the-top Italian accent ever. Like Mario and Luigi combined, except much more verbose, and sprinkle in a little Domenico from Tila Tequila. Blend, simmer, reduce. Using a large wooden spoon, scoop the Italian accent reduction and splash the entire mixture into someone’s face. That’s what it was like. It couldn’t have been real.

Oh MAN! They don’t have their menu online and I was too busy enjoying wine and company to take notes. Let me recreate from my memory. Alright. My entree is pictured above. It was a chestnut ravioli with sage butter and crispy pancetta. But what are those black bits?!?!? Surely not truffles?!? I don’t remember truffles. What on earth are they? Anyway, my entree was the winner of the night. I’m so happy that the inside was chestnut rather than butternut squash, which I don’t think is meaty enough. The salty bite and crunch of the pancetta with the chestnut – OY!

The special of the night was rabbit, which was also ordered. [Waiter: “YES-a PO-ra BAH-nee!”] This one was not a hit. The meat was just SO dry, and the time and effort it took to debone the poor thing made it all the more not worth it. I might as well fry up Cheeto (our hamster – don’t tell Tinx). The accompanying veggies were great, though! I must exclaim the name of the food before I eat it, if I really love it. Do you do that ever? The carrots were so good that they made me yell, “CARROT!” before every bite.

This is Cara’s gnocchi. How interesting. I’ve never encountered gnocchi with a clam sauce. I’m sure that’s what intrigued Cara, too. And who doesn’t love gnocchi? (Secret time: I don’t really…but I feel like it’s like proscuitto, where everyone’s supposed to like it no matter what.) However, something went wrong in the execution of this dish, as Collicchio would say. I didn’t even try it.

This is not a breast implant in a pile of blood. This is panna cotta with raspberry sauce. I love all jello-ey substances. As a texture eater rather than a flavor eater, I just adored the slippery smoothness of this. Despite the rather barbarian presentation, the sweetness was very refined.

For the bride-to-be, a complimentary dessert. I didn’t have any of the thing in the corner, but I did partake in the poached pear and mint leaf. I believe they were going for a heart motif with the creme anglaise? Looks like something else. Labia.

I have been told that my posts follow a template. Photo, description of food that is in a city that’s not LA, some mention of balls. So I thought I’d switch it up and go with labia today.

E Tutto Qua
270 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

2 Responses to “E Tutto Qua”

  1. Sylvia says:

    you ate bunny? :'(

  2. […] also because I spent an inordinate amount of time constructing perfect bites over and over. Unlike other versions of this dish I’ve had, the accoutrements didn’t […]

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