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Food & Drink

Best Italian Cafe With Literary Flair 

Caffè Proust

If you like a side of literature with your linguine, check out Caffè Proust. OK, so linguine's not on the menu, but other pastas are. And yes, Marcel Proust was French, but he was fond of Italy, and the proprietors of Caffè Proust are Italian, so there you are. The restaurant is a tribute to the writer, featuring "Proust references everywhere" (to quote its menu), as well as serving as home base for the Marcel Proust Support Group ( CP is also a tribute to cafe living "circa late-century San Francisco" (to quote its Web site), and has the aura of a Parisian cafe, where stories are shared, ideas are fomented, and wine is drunk. The menu is even designed to contribute to the mingling: Dishes are small and meant to be mixed, matched, and shared, like tapas. The food is good, the menu is good reading, the service is attentive, and no one rushes you from your table -- although the lack of cushioning on the chairs might. We have only one other quibble: No tiramisu? (A cannoli just isn't the same.)


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