For this week's restaurant review
, I visited Leopold's in Russian Hill -- not only was I curious about Klaus and Albert Rainer's Austrian-Italian food, but I'd talked to several people since the place opened who had enthusiastically described the food and the prices.
They weren't wrong. While the Italian influence wasn't as strong as the initial media blitz suggested, Leopold's has turned out to be as solid as Suppenküche and Schmidt's, the food perhaps a little lighter on the palate. What I hadn't expected was the scene. The place has two kind of patrons: Those who are interested in the food, and those who want to drink two liters of beer out of a giant glass boot. So far, the only downside is that the communal table in the center of the room is torture to sit at. That the restaurant can leave both sets of customers satisfied -- if unable to walk, for different reasons -- is testament that the Rainers have hit their mark.
Leopold's: 2400 Polk (at Union), 474-2000, www.facebook.com/leopoldssf