A16-San Francisco- 12/26/2015

I bought the A16 cookbook a while ago and I told Hoa that when we have an occasion we should drive to San Francisco to eat there.  Since Kevin is home for Christmas I took the occasion and made reservation at A16.  A16 is located on Chestnut street in the Marina district. When it opened in 2004, A16 carved a niche focusing on food from southern Italy, particularly Campania.  A16 shares a name with the highway that runs from Naples to Canosa, Puglia.  Chef Rocky Maselli oversees the menu, which features fresh pasta, house-butchered and house-cured meats and authentic Neapolitan pizza. Complementing the rustic menu, Wine Director/owner Shelley Lindgren selects wines that highlight the indigenous grapes from Campania and nearby regions.


This is the story from their cookbook on how they came up with A16 name:

 "When we travel through southern Italy, introducing ourselves to winemakers and chefs, they always chuckle a bit.  "Ah, Autostrada Sedici," they say, recognizing the highway that passes west to east, from Naples to Conosa in Puglia.  This so amused Antonio Caggiano, a winemaker in Taurasi, that he photographed the A16 Taurasi exit sign, blew it up poster size, and mailed it to us.  A smaller rendition of the photograph hangs on a wall in his winery.

So, you ask, how did we name a restaurant after a road? On one of our early, hectic research trips, we often found ourselves caravanning back and forth on the A16, stopping off at restaurants, nurseries, agritusimi, and hotels, while the places we visited were not directly off the highway, the A16 always gave us a sense of directions in the unfamiliar surroundings.  We knew we weren't lost once we found our way back to it.  As we neared the end of one of our trips, we still hadn't figured out what to call the restaurant. While the list of prospective names grew, nothing stuck.  Finally, with all of us road weary and full from one too many meals, Victoria quipped, "let's just call it A16."  Almost immediately Greg began to see the possibilities, drafting a logo in his head inspired by road signs.  We all looked at one another in unison.  We had found our name."

The entrance of the restaurant with the A16 sign on top is designed to look like a freeway sign.


The storefront is narrow and it is certainly decorated for the holiday.

From the entrance, it looks very small and narrow, but the place can actually hold a lot of people with tons of seating in the back.  The place vibrates with energy with a lively buzz, thanks to the crowded bar and open kitchen.


One of the many counter close to the entrance.


Wine Director/Owner Shelley Lindgren’s reputation for seeking out Italian wines made with lesser-known grapes has earned her recognition as a wine pioneer. She curates an exciting and ever-changing collection of Italian wines and you'll have an exceptional bottle (or glass) in whatever price range you choose.  Lindgren, who has worked in restaurants all her life, feels that her job is less about creating high-profile wine lists and more about sharing her passion for wine and hospitality with guests.


The boisterous long, narrow restaurant features an open kitchen with a focus around the wood-burning oven integral to Neapolitan pizza.


On the right you can see the wood-burning oven that produces authentic Neapolitan pizza.

If you don't have reservation ask to be seated at the counter so you can see the chefs cooking and making pizza.


We were seated at the far end of the restaurant and this is the view of the restaurant from out table.

The menu is divided into 5 section: Appetizers, Pizzas, Pasta, Meat/fish, side dishes.

To move around the restaurant you will need to weave through the narrow walkway. 



The wine list is 60 percent Italian, mostly from the South, and the other 40 percent is New World, celebrating premiere Italian varietals grown in California along with many California wines.


Table setting-simple and cozy.

The restaurant offers a selection of about 40 wines that you can purchase by the glass or half bottle carafe.

Hoa ordered a half bottle carafe red wine and it turned out to be pretty decent.


We started our meal with a platter of cold cut- Tagliere di Salumi -$18

from left to right: 'nduja, finochina, Prosciutto Americano and assorted pickles vegetable.

N'duja is a soft, spicy hot, spreadable salami considered one of the most famous, if not the most famous, of typical Calabrian foods

Finochina is a Tuscan salami made with fennel.

We so surprised that the American Prosciutto was so flavorful and delicious!  The N'duja and Finochina are also delicious.

Trippa Napoletana - Tripe, Tomato, Chili, white wine, breadcrumbs-$12

Tripe can be a challenging ingredient for many but it you are adventurous I definitely recommend this dish.  This dish will definitely please tripe aficionados while the pleasant trio of tomato, egg, and cheese that finishes the stew may win the dish some converts.

Here are our 2 appetizers (Tripe and cold cut) which we shared between the 3 of us.


Salsiccia, Fennel sausage, fior di latte, broccoli rabe, grana padano, chili - $19

This is the only dish that we did not like- the dough is the center was soggy.  I like my pizza to have a crunchy dough.

Squid ink Tonnarelli -Calamari, senise peppers, fried breadcrumbs, lemon - $24

They have a small or large portion, this one is the large portion.



They served the fresh squid with squid ink pasta because the salinity of the ink subtly enhances the flavor of the squid. 


Mcfarland springs trout-Citron, fennel, oil cured olives -$34

Another amazing dish!  The trout was cooked to perfection, the skin was crispy and you can taste the freshness of the fish.  The Fingerling potatoes were also delicious.


I ordered the perfect amount of food and we ate the whole thing... Not even a crumb was left...


A nice cup of coffee to end our meal.

Chocolate tartlets, bitter chocolate mousse with sea salt and olive oil - $11


The bottom is a crunchy chocolate tart shell which provide a nice textural contrast to the smooth chocolate mousse and also complements the sea salt.   

A great dessert to an end of a wonderful meal.

We really enjoyed eating at A16 and we will definitely be back with the group.  Nice ambiance, wine selection is pretty decent, and the service was attentive to our needs.



2355 Chestnut St. (near Divisadero)
San Francisco
Tel. (415) 771-2216



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