If you’re a lover of Valencia Street (and what tattoo-sporting San Franciscan isn’t?) you’ve surely noticed the swanky new eatery tucked between Bar Tartine and Casanova. Its name: Locanda. Its story: hip, modern, and full of offal-centric delicious Italian fare.
Created by Craig and Annie Stoll, the husband and wife team behind Delfina and Delfina Pizzeria, Locanda is a chic and modern Roman-inspired Italian bistro. Chef Anthony Strong spent one month in Rome cooking, dining, and prepping for the grand opening. Already open over a month, it’s still hard to get a reservation (or even a seat at the bar).
For my husband’s b’day last week we stopped in at Locanda on our way to Delfina (ironically) for dinner. At 7pm on a Thursday evening, it was already crowded from the bar to the back of the house. We ponyed up and ordered; both thrilled to see that all drinks were just $10. (Not cheap, but fair for a well-made drink in this mixology maniacal city.)
I chose the Aperitivo, a smooth blend of Campari, orange, lemon, and Prosecco. The ice cubes were square, the orange peel perfectly spiraled, and the taste flawless. My husband chose the Archangelo, made of gin, cucumber and Aperol. It was in a word, delicious. As a couple who knows a thing or two about well-made drinks, we were pretty shocked—these kicked some serious butt. They were impeccably blended, presented, and made me want six more immediately. (I held back; we were meeting my parents for dinner afterall.)
With dives, biker bars, and cheap watering holes abound in the Mission, it’s not every block that you find a truly well-made, top-quality cocktail. That being said, Locanda is a welcome addition to the ’hood.
With libations that lively, I can’t wait to go back for dinner.
Locanda, 577 Valencia St.; 415-863-6800
(Top photo courtesy of Locanda; bottom photo by Shyla Batliwalla)