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Friday, June 20, 2008

Food Porn: Suckling Pig and Zepoles At Bar Bambino

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 9:59 AM

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Place: Bar Bambino Cafe & Wine Bar (2931 16th Street)

Occasion: Sunday dinner

Style: Italian

Price: Upper mid, take a gander.

Fancy Factor: Narrow, lots of dark colors. Very New Yorky. The napkins come rolled and bound with brown leather straps. Think rustic, not kinky.

Rationale: I'd been hearing great things about this place for months, just waiting for the the best opportunity to pounce. Plus, who can resist the charms of that particular stretch of 16th Street between Mission and South Van Ness? The site of several firsts for me: first genuine grade-a pimp'n'hoe-talking-business sighting and first crack-smoking in broad daylight sighting. Bambino held almost as many surprises, but thankfully they were happier, tastier, less illicit ones.

Follow the jump for the up close and personal ...

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It was a toss up between the Bruschette Al ginepro, with chicken liver and juniper berry, or the Bruschette Di Capri (both $9) - stewed zucchini, tomatoes with mozzarella. We ended up going for the latter, tomatoes being so rare these days and all.

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Porchetta ($21.50) Slow-roasted suckling pig, sliced and finished in its own juices. On the menu it says "Pork = heaven," which is about right.

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I can never pass up the possibility of a great pasta dish. Pappardelle with sugo di coniglio -- braised rabbit. Two of my favorite words there: braise and rabbit.

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Romano beans with tomato and onion ($5). Sometimes the side dishes make all the difference, they tip the scale. This was one of those times.

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Zepole con crema zabaione ($7.50) Italian-style donuts served with sweet Marsala custard for dipping. One of my new favorite desserts.

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Vanilla gelato Affogato ($4.50). It isn't a new thing, or particularly complex, but a great way to eat gelato -- literally drown it in espresso.

-- Brian Bernbaum

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Brian Bernbaum

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