Rigatoni alla carbonara. Jewish-style artichokes. Butcher's style oxtails. This week's full-length restaurant review is of Locanda, which is engaged in a delicate dance between classic Roman cuisine and California style.
By and large, Anthony Strong, who is running the kitchen of the newest restaurant from Delfina owners Craig and Annie Stoll, has figured out all the steps; his food is clean and elegant, largely absent of protestations of authenticity. (Onevision filmed an interview with Strong in which he talks about that particular dance.) Locanda is definitely still a young restaurant, and its flaws were as plenty as scabs on a hyperactive 6-year-old's knees. But the problems were all flubs of execution, not concept, and they're the kind that can fade away with a few more months of practice. It's also a great-looking place, and wears its every-foodist-in-town-must-eat-here buzz well. And seriously: Order heavily from the "quinto quarto" (offal) section of the menu.