544 Castro St., Castro
Phone: (415) 529-2797
Status: Softly open; grand opening Wednesday
The Castro has never been a neighborhood loaded with great culinary options (Frances excepted), so a lot of fingers have been crossed for Dante's Table, the second restaurant from Francesco D'Ippolito, who owns one of the neighborhood's few other standbys, Poesia. Helmed by Italian chef Andrea Cesca, a pizzaiolo who's logged time at Cotogna, this restaurant aims to fill the need for relaxed neighborhood Italian fare, with options like pizza, arancini, salads, and pasta ($11-19). There's also a full liquor license, which is put to use in a handful of simple cocktails ($8), and 14 Italian wines by the bottle that all go for a very reasonable $25. See the opening food and drink menu here; keep in mind that these offerings will expand once the restaurant is in full swing.
Like the Divine Comedy itself, the former Dancing Pig BBQ space is is divided into three segments: Inferno (the main dining room), Purgatorio (the hallway), and Paradiso (the rear dining room and garden patio). The latter space, unfortunately, is still under construction, but the interior has been updated with green walls and murals, as well as Dante quotes. Hours for the soft opening are currently 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 5-10 pm, but the kitchen eventually hopes to serve until midnight. We'll update this post with the full menu and hours once they kick in.
· First Look at Dante's Table, Now Open in the Castro [Grub Street]
· Dancing Pig Replacement Has a Name: Dante's Table [~ ESF ~]