Best of the Bay 2011: BEST FAMILY ITALIAN (WITH FREE CHEESE!)

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The eponymous vintage painting of two blondes and their reflections that hangs inside an alcove of this classic Sunset District Italian resataurant is far from its sole golden attraction. Complimentary sharp cheddar cheese with crackers awaits you at the bar — not quite as epistemologically relevant, but certainly a nice prelude to your veal piccata and housemade tiramisu. The Gold Mirror Restaurant started as a 1940s Fillmore District cocktail lounge but relocated in the 1950s. Since then — except for when a runaway delivery truck caused a temporary closure in 2004 — chef Giuseppe Di Grande, wife Josephine, and sons Domenico and Roberto have continuously maintained the classy-comfortable place for what it is: a shining reflection of old-style San Francisco.

800 Taraval, SF. (415) 564-0401, www.goldmirrorrestaurant.com

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