I'm sorry for the long long delay since my last post- there were vacations, and moving, and no internet... but all along, the happy food never stopped. I'll begin from my most recent happy foods and slowly work back in time...
Life has taken me to San Francisco. If you mentioned San Francisco to me about 10 years ago, I would think immediately of cable cars and Rice-a-Roni. To my great delight, it has ohh so much more. We settled into an overpriced, and undersized one bedroom right below the Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. It's a couple blocks to North Beach, and a few more to Chinatown. As you can imagine, there's great food all along the way.
Most people say everyone living in North Beach has their favorite Italian restaurant, and Niko and I, though still trying things out, are already leaning towards Ideale on Grant Street. If you go on a Friday night, you'll probably be seated at the bar for about 20 minutes before getting a table. You won't mind though with the reasonable wine prices, and the upbeat atmosphere - you may even learn a word or two of Italian between the waiters and the owner running back and forth to the kitchen. It definitely beats sitting in the front of a restaurant, completely forgotten (which has happened to us at more than a few other Italian places in North Beach). Some of my favorites are the prosciutto e pera - prosciutto wrapped around bosc pears and mascarpone, and the spaghetti alla chitarra - homemade spaghetti with scallops and garlic in a white wine and tomato sauce. It's simple, tasty Roman food.
Another great little spot is Cafe Divine on Stockton. Overlooking Columbus Park, it's one of my favorite places to go to get a glass of wine (and perhaps a cup of soup on those extra chilly San Francisco summer days) and people-watch.
Their desserts are a bit pricey, but if you're really wanting something sweet, they deliver. I recently tried the "Cloud Nine Cheesecake", topped with a sour cherry drizzle. It was delicious.
They also do a great breakfast. I tried their spinach, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomato scramble. Although the eggs were good, the best part, by far, was the fresh, flaky, cheddar and scallion biscuit served along side.