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Alexander Alioto's Plin Brings Italian to the Mission

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[Photo: Patricia Chang]

Fans of Seven Hills who live on the south side of the city won't have to head to Nob Hill any longer for a raviolo al uovo: today marks the Valencia debut of former chef Alexander Alioto's first solo venture, the spacious and stylish Plin. Located in the former Another Monkey/Conduit space, Plin's Italian menu has a seafood focus and, unlike many other Italian restaurants, a full cocktail selection.

A fourth-generation restaurateur, Alioto comes from a clan with a long history in the San Francisco restaurant scene; their namesake Fisherman's Wharf restaurant, Alioto's, dates to 1925. Alioto's family has played a big part in getting the young chef's new project off the ground, with mother Joanne Alioto handling the interior design and father Nunzio Alioto Jr., directing the wine list alongside Chuck Furuya (they're both Master Sommeliers).

On the menu are a few meat options, like chicken liver mousse lollipops and grilled lamb chops with vegetable caponata, plus veggie dishes like eggplant parmesan and olive frittata. But the spotlight is definitely on the seafood section, which ranges from oysters on the half shell with pickled shishito relish to black bass carpaccio to fried lobster to baby manila clams with Florida shrimp and soft polenta. And of course, there's pasta galore, including that famed raviolo, a ginormous pasta delight with a whole egg yolk inside. (Here's the full menu.)

On the drinks side, Nunzio Alioto and Furuya have assembled a special reserve list with wines sourced from Alexander's own cellar, plus a selection of wines by the half-glass. Cocktails come from bar manager Daniel Federico of LA's Harvard & Stone, with drinks like the Americano Sour (rye, Carpano Antica, Cappelletti Aperitivo, lemon and egg white) and The Principle (bourbon, St. Germain, lemon, grapefruit, honey, orange bitters, Herbsaint rinse).

The 3,700-square-foot interior is designed by Architects II and features 100 seats spread across booths, banquettes, bar seating, and a 12-seat private dining room. Walnut tabletops and blown glass bubbles are the work of Joanne Alioto, who oversaw the look and feel of the interior, and custom light installations include a Moooi Heracleum chandelier and Jan Pauwels' "floating fish" designs, which hang over the central communal table.

Starting tonight, hours for the new spot will be Tuesday-Sunday, 5pm-11pm.

· Seven Hills' Alioto Opening Mission Italian Restaurant [~ ESF ~]
· Another Monkey Shutters [~ ESF ~]


280 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA