Tip your fedora to this North Beach mainstay, whose family-style options include classic Italian dishes done right
The veal tortellini were better: less daunting in scale, nicely bite-sized, and given a sun-dried tomato cream sauce that was finer than the bolognese. Also satisfying: slices of breaded eggplant baked with mozzarella and marinara and béchamel (or, in Italian, besciamella) sauces. The bitterness of the eggplant had been expertly leached out, and the dish as a whole had a faux-meatiness that might have convinced an omnivore — or at least an omnivore distracted, perhaps, by a value-priced glass, or three, of Chianti ($3.50). I wouldn't call Chianti my first love, wine-wise, but it tends to be solid. Anyway, it's the only sort of wine you could drink with a clear conscience in a place like this, with a lovers' moon peeking through the windows and BBB — the greatest hat show on earth — just a few steps away.
Dinner: Mon.-Fri., 4:30–10:30 p.m.;
Sat.–Sun., 4-11 p.m.
Lunch: daily, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
1600 Powell, SF
Noisy but bearable