I’m in San Francisco this weekend, back in the metropolis of my birth for the first time in what seems like forever. I’m on this completely insane fly-by; there are a zillion people I should have called to say “let’s get together,” only there’s no time to see any of them. If you are one of these people, and you are only learning about my visit now, please accept my humble apologies; better, I thought, to slip in and out unnoticed than to dangle the promise of something that I’d never be able to pull off. (Although I guess I’m blowing my cover by posting this. Bad idea there.) I flew in last night, coming into SF more than two hours late, having sat in a seat that at irregular intervals smelled strongly of puke. Sunday night I go home on the red-eye. Monday I spend the day tripping over the furniture. For now, I’m staying with my cousin.
I’m here for Reuben’s wedding. Tonight was the bachelor party. I worried that there would be straight-boy jiggle-bars, but I figured I could see how the other 90% lives for an evening. Instead, we were told we’d be going to a SF comedy club to catch the 11:00 act. But first we were going to have dinner at some tiny restaurant I’d never heard of.
Oh, the meal. May I please recommend this restaurant to you? It’s Albona Ristorante Istriano. Hot damn, what food. I had pan-fried gnocchi with a hint of nutmeg in a sirloin sauce; this indescribably wonderful mushroom soup; a veal shank that melted off the bone; and a heavenly ripe-canteloupe sorbet that Bruno, the proprietor, had improvised today because he’d found these amazing melons at the market. Throughout the meal, Bruno went to great lengths to make sure we knew all about what he was serving, what he recommended, and how he had cooked it all. He put together sampler dishes of some of his favorites for us to enjoy. He made us feel like family.
We never made it to the comedy club. We decided to linger over the meal instead, swapping stories and drinking much wine and making each other laugh our asses off. I don’t regret that decision for an instant. If you’re in the area, I can’t recommend Albona highly enough.