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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This Week's Review: Seven Hills, a Classic, Classical Neighborhood Bistro

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM

The duck at Seven Hills. - KIMBERLY SANDIE
  • Kimberly Sandie
  • The duck at Seven Hills.

This week, I reviewed Seven Hills in Russian Hill, which is a neighborhood designed to become an instant classic. The owners are Alexander Alioto and brother-in-law Alexis Solomou, who belong to the Alioto clan.

Alioto interned in kitchens in Italy and Germany, including a couple of Michelin two-stars. In Sicily, he worked at a cousin's restaurant (he told me he met his entire extended family in one very long afternoon). Farther north, he interned at San Domenico, then, back home, at the French Laundry before working at the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton.

It was clear from both the precision of the cooking and the classic

dishes on the menu ― sweetbread and frisee salad, a very good carbonara, lots of meats with reduction sauces ― that Alioto has done time at some very good restaurants. Rather than follow the experimentalists down their twisty, unfamiliar paths, he's trying to find a way to scale his high-end experience down and focus on using seasonal, local ingredients. It's a great fit for Russian Hill.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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