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Week in Reviews: A Deuce For Piccolo Teatro

With all the Thanksgiving hoopla coverage, Carey Sweet fills in for Lord Bauer this week at Sausalito's Piccolo Teatro. The Venetian 65-seater is surely charming, but the menu from Moose's vet Travis Flood has its ups and downs:

Periodic ruckus aside, there's still a lot to recommend about this first venture of longtime restaurateur Eric Zahra ... Regardless of what you order, prices are low (maxing at $18), preparation is mostly expert, and flavors are generally substantial. On the downside, portions are tiny. That $18 brings a skirt steak the size of a saucer, laid over a handful of root vegetables and pioppini mushrooms. Want bread? That'll be $2.50, albeit for nine thick slices of assorted varieties from Panorama in San Francisco.
In the end, the review is a solid two-star affair, complete with a slightly grumpy warning to those averse to children: "During three of my four visits ... the little ones were running around the closely spaced marble tables, clambering along the sleek caramel leather banquettes, and chasing fallen french fries to the floor." [Chron]

Paul Reidinger muses on price points at Long Bar on Fillmore in Pac Heights, where there's actually a long bar: "As impressive as the bar is, it takes up only a quarter or so of the dining room ... it seems quite possible that the bulk of the clientele — vigorous, middle-aged-looking people who don't appear to be poor — would consider Long Bar moderately priced, I would have to cogitate a bit before agreeing. Then I would agree. A grilled salmon filet perched on a bed of quinoa salad dotted with cauliflower florets, for $22? That's not bad for casually sophisticated cooking." [SFBG]

Matthew Stafford has the Weekly review, and he takes to Polk Street's De Afghanan Kabob House: "The Polk Street venue has been spruced up a bit since the late, lamented Mediterranean Spirit closed up shop last September ... What gives the place its special ambience are the friendly, welcoming service and the intricate, satisfying house cuisine." [SFW]

THE ELSEWHERE: Stafford pulls double duty this week at theE BX, where he does tapas at Alameda's BarCeluna, the MIJ gets back in the review game at Perugina in Novato, Mission Local does a gourmet donut investigation of sorts at Dynamo Donuts, the Merc has a quick bite at San Jose's Caffe Trieste, No Salad has some pretty pictures of dinner at Canteen, and the Sunday Chron had three stars for Ken Frank's relocated La Toque in Napa.

[Photo courtesy]

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