A16

A16—House made Sardinian fregola and Maccaronara to rival Nonna’s

By Laura Fraser

Just like the A16 highway in Naples, our own A16—the restaurant—can get pretty busy at rush hour, starting with the tiny bar after 5 PM. From the wood-fired pizza to the house-made pastas and cured meats, this restaurant that’s on everybody’s list of favorites specializes in the southern Italian cuisine of Campania, with an extensive list of unusual wines from that region.The most difficult choice you will have to make is pizza or pasta, and in Naples, they never eat both at the same meal. The pizza is thin and slightly charred, with a minimum of traditional ingredients—marinara, romana, Bianca, funghi (mushrooms)—as they make it in Southern Italy, bubbling with fresh mozzarella. The pastas, whether Sardinian fregola, or Maccaronara, are all flavorful and al dente, with many made on the premises. Fresh vegetable side dishes—chicories, chards—are finished with excellent, spicy Pugliese olive oil. On the vino front, you're all set; co-owner and wine director Shelley Lindgren has scoured the southern climes of Italy for a wide variety of unusual wines you rarely find without bringing along your passport. In short, the wine menu is as thick as a Murakami novel.

the crowd

It has a reputation as one of San Francisco’s most stylish restaurants for a reason. Cashmere is practically a must, as are shoes of expensive origin. But the wait staff embraces a different sort of hipness: On a recent visit, one sported a necklace with a dangling tooth (from a pig butchered for the restaurant, of course).

hours

Lunch: Wed–Fri 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
Dinner: Mon–Thu 5:30 PM–10:00 PM; Fri 5:30 PM–11 PM; Sat 5:00 PM–11:00 PM; Sun 5:00 PM–10:00 PM

price range

$6 (spring chicories with lemon vinaigrette) to $28 (Berkshire pork chop)
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