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San Francisco's Belden Place is well known for its French bistros and outdoor seating, as well as a general European vibe that is reinforced by a preponderance of patrons smoking filterless cigarettes in the table-filled alley. Brindisi's Southern Italian menu offers a fair distraction from the hubbub of the street, and the super-charming Italian waiters, when they are not too hurried to bring you water, make for at least 50% of the positive dining experience.
On a recent visit during crab season, we found Chef Fabrizio Protopapa's cuisine to be a mixed bag, ranging from completely delightful to downright reprehensible. That said, we'd recommend Brindisi anytime for its magnificent panna cotta, its relatively sophisticated atmosphere and overall romantic location. -- Thor Elliott and Margaret Meriwether