Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez
San Francisco’s waterfront neighborhood, aka the Embarcadero, is some prime real estate for luxury apartments, AT&T park, tech companies and so much more. The locale recently welcomed its newest restaurant to the ‘hood and I had the absolute pleasure of checking out the new digs at Caputo.
If you’re in the mood for rustic, tratoria-style Italian food, Caputo is definitely a place to check out. Opened in October 2015, the beautiful restaurant boasts an open kitchen and a welcoming, wood patina bar and dining room. Caputo, which took over The Slanted Door’s previous space, is helmed by Executive Chef and partner Sam Ramadan and managing partner Shah Bahrenyi.
When we visited, we had the pleasure of watching Chef Ramandan and Chef de Cuisine, Carrie Anne Lopez, conjure up their delicious dishes together. When you visit for dinner, I definitely suggest taking a seat near the kitchen to watch all of the magic unfold.
Per usual, we started our meals with a couple cocktails. (A girl’s gotta be able to recommend a good cocktail, amiright?!) The booze list is plentiful. You’ve got your pick from California-centric wines, local micro brews and a bounty of fresh cocktail concoctions. If you need to kill time before a baseball game or whatnot, you definitely need to check out this stunner of a bar that overlooks the Bay.
We started our night off with a few super bright and light cocktails. Go for the Caputo Bellini or a Cucumber Collins. Or try my favorite of the night, the Corpse Reviver #2, a mix of #209 Gin (distilled at nearby Pier 50), lemon juice, St. George Absinthe, and Kina L’Aero d’Or aperitif. So good.
For starters, I suggest the Meatballs Al Forno and the Burrata. The smokiness and richness of the meatballs and San Marzano marinara pair perfectly with the creaminess of the burrata, served with oven-roasted mushrooms, hazelnuts and honey. Other small plates on the menu include a Salumi Board, salads, yellowfin crudo and Pecorino Flan, which sounds heavenly to the fat kid in me.
Everyone around us was ordering various types of Caputo’s woodfired Neopolitan-style pizzas. Oh, and I’m definitely coming back to taste the Whole Mediterranean Branzino grilled over almond wood. But alas, we played the pasta card and ordered a Squid Ink Spaghetti alla Chitara, served with Rock Shrimp, and the Raviolo, one beautifully plump ricotta-filled and farm egg hunk of pasta in a shallow pool of truffle butter and grana padano sage butter. Come to Caputo hungry and with friends because I’ll guarantee you’ll want to try a bit of everything from the menu.
If you save room for dessert, Caputo offers a hefty list of dessert wines, port, cognac. scotch and coffee to accompany your sweet tooth. We opted for the Butterscotch Budino, a velvety butterscotch pudding of sorts topped with sea salt caramel and an almond biscotti crunch. The Valrhona Chocolate Terrine and the Rosemary Polenta Cake was calling our names but we ate entirely too much.
For cocktails, wine, pizza and pasta, check out Caputo before everyone else discovers how great it is. For more information, visit hwww.caputosf.com.