I feel like eating out is now my full-time job. I mean, if you include documenting restaurant experiences, plus creating content and reviewing, dining out does take up the majority of my fun-employed days. I’ve been blessed to have a great network of friends to fuel this newfound “job.” Job is in quotes because I haven’t figured out how to sustainably make money out of this.
But I digress. As part of my fun-employment and healing this past month, I’ve made a point to enjoy a meal and/or drink with another person daily, while still reserving one day a week for myself. This introvert needs to recharge alone after all.
My last week was a blur of food, but AltoVino stood out for their incredibly satisfying and comforting Californian spin on Italian classics. Located in Nob Hill, AltoVino is owned by the husband and wife team of Chef Nick Kelly and Sommelier Calli Martinez.
The cozy neighborhood spot features a modern menu of fresh pasta, highly local meats and produce, and antipasti. The wine selection is thoughtfully curated as well, with imported Italian wines.
I was in carb heaven from the start with the appetizers – prosciutto and fig with gnocco fritto, and mushroom mousse with grilled Acme bread. It took great self restraint to save space for the mains.
The fresh caramelle pasta was a highlight with local K&J figs, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar. I loved the texture contrast and chew of the candy wrapper pasta shape. I also inhaled the tender roasted black cod, presented table-side in the salt shell, and featuring late summer squash and cherry tomatoes
Service was lovely, and the ambience was perfect for both a relaxing evening with friends or a romantic date. AltoVino manages to accomplish that cozy neighborhood feel, while being a spot worth traveling across town for.