Il Cantuccio

3228 16th Street @ Guerrero
San Francisco, CA 94110
phone: 415.861.3899
hours: Sun-Thurs, 5-10pm; Fri- Sat, 5-10:30 pm
Beer and Wine only

[Some negative additions have been as a result of a more recent visit]

On a Monday night, most restaurants are either empty or closed. Luckily, Il Cantuccio was just empty. This tiny 12 table restaurant had a few Monday patrons, and by the time we left at 9:30, the joint was full. Usually, this is a good sign.

The Ambience:
This cozy Italian restaurant offers unique table settings, individual water pitchers for each table (with matching salt and pepper shakers, oooh!) and appropriate opera in the background. Even when full, it didn't seem too crowded. Unfortunately, it was very lit; if they dimmed it a little, I'd call it a decent place for romance.

The Menu:
Classic Italian fare, $12-$16 a plate. The wine-list-for-dummies waxes poetic, but offers a small, decent selection.

The Food:
Eh. Our prosciutto appetizer left much to be desired, being rather tasteless, thick and served on, gasp, iceberg lettuce. Their pasta dishes weren't bad at all. The crab ravioli was pretty awesome and the linguini with clams is a safe bet. Portions are medium-large.

Note from a more recent visit: The regular and decaf coffees both taste like assy dishwater. They're hands down the worst I've ever had. The food was kind of weird and tasteless.

The Service:
The highlight of an outing to Il Cantuccio is the service. One waiter works all the tables with ease. I was naturally concerned when our bottle of wine was taken from the table, knowing full well you can rarely trust a waiter to fill you glasses; however, our friendly Italian didn't miss a beat.

Reservations: Not usually necessary.

Overall: Downgraded to a C-, originally a B
Cheap but not so good food. Cozy and friendly.

Reviewed : Oct 2003, July 2004

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