Incanto topped Eater's list of overrated restaurants last year, and Michael Bauer's recent revisit echoed a similar sentiment. A restaurant that used to be a "bold, adventuresome experience" has now "gone more mainstream" with its menu selections and "lax" in its preparations. While Bauer finds Incanto's signature tuna heart spaghetti and liver bruschetta with duck hearts "the most interesting items," he laments the loss of "unusual - or off-putting - offals" like "mountain oysters, trotters, and beef heart." He finds lots of execution flaws in dishes: "undercooked and brittle" ravioli, unseasoned, boney petrale sole that's "nearly impossible to eat," and two desserts that are "overbaked and tough" and "dense and gummy," respectively.
It's not all doom and gloom, however: the "professional" and "efficient" service garnered three stars from Bauer, leaving the final rating at two and a half, an overall half-star drop from his last review three years ago. [Chron]
SF Weekly's Anna Roth visits Chef Manny Torres Gimenez at Roxy's Cafe (2847 Mission) and has mixed feelings about his ten-course tasting menu. Although she thinks he's "undoubtedly talented and onto something" with his food, which is Latin American "with elements from French, Italian, and Japanese cuisines thrown in," too many "interesting mistakes" lead her to conclude that Gimenez's "ambition might have exceeded his ability to execute." Roth did find that "a few things showed promise" and was particularly impressed the "insane" richness of his South American take on carbonara, with plantain noodles, chorizo, and "lemony egg foam." Overall, his handmade pastas were "the high point of the meal." [SFW]
And over at the Examiner, Jesse Hirsch takes a trip to Nespresso's Union Square cafe (90 Gtrant Ave) and finds himself immersed somewhere between a "Blade Runner future-scape" and a "Clockwork Orange vision of the future." The "rustic, homey and approachable" cuisine, however, brings him back to earth. Normally a "weary old lunch staple," Nespresso's grilled cheese sandwich "hit all the right notes" with its three-cheese blend and "hearty and flavorful" bread. "Elaborately constructed desserts" and coffee pairings were "fun to play with," and Nespresso offers "lots of mix-and-match combos," although the menu can be overwhelming at first. Hirsch is the first to admit that the prices may be high and the atmosphere strange, but in the end his desire to "get jacked up on caffeine and eat a well-made grilled cheese" wins the spot his seal of approval. [Examiner]
· All Incanto coverage [~ ESF ~]
· All Roxy's Cafe coverage [~ ESF ~]
· All Nespresso Boutique Cafe coverage [~ ESF ~]