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Food & Drink

Best Italian Cuisine 

La Ciccia

Italian influences have become so much a part of California cuisine that it's almost impossible for a San Franciscan to distinguish the two. Is Incanto's nettle risotto "Italian"? How about Acquerello's stuffed guinea hen? Delfina's wild fennel sausage with lentils? No diss on these great restaurants, but La Ciccia stands out for the love its Sardinian chef showers on the food of his people. Massimiliano Conti's food is exciting because it's so distinctive — fava beans roasted whole and served with a few slices of sheeps'-milk cheese; spaghetti seasoned with dried tuna roe; sole served with braised lettuces and a mellow, earthy green olive sauce. There's nothing superfluous in his cooking, and it's just as season-specific as anything you'll find at Boulevard, but La Ciccia's food is rife with flavors most Californians have never encountered outside Europe.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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