There is a genre of restaurant that offers a sort of communion with city life composed of the roar of a room full of happy guests, a menu of comforting dishes consistently well prepared and service that is at once breezy, unfussy, efficient and professional. Balthazar in NYC comes to mind. Or Prunier in Paris. These restaurants thrive on comfort, and dining with them can seem almost like going to a spa: you settle into the white noise bubble around your table, let out a long, long sigh and leave yourself in the hands of a well tuned team.
Perbacco, located in San Francisco’s financial district, seems to me to fall into this category. The menu of classic Italian dishes doesnt re-invent the wheel but it is always seasonal, always fresh and always good. The hand made pastas deserve special attention. The service, starting with the host when you walk in, is friendly without being familiar, professional without being stuffy, always aware without being intrusive. Even post-COVID, Perbacco doesn’t skimp on service points, from white tablecloths to knowing which plate goes to which diner, to replacing used silverware to sending over the sommelier for a wine recommendation (who, incidentally, recommended a wine that was very modestly priced).
Address: 230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111 415 955-0663
Tel: 415 955-0663
Reservations: recommended, Perbacco is perennially bustling and a line out front is not unusual