Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Restaurant Review: Aperto

Despite it being in the little hub of Potrero Hill amongst all the neighborhood restaurants we really like, Nick and I hadn't made it over the Aperto until last Sunday. We'd heard a lot of praise about the place in the past and until very recently our good friend's brother used to work there but we don't tend to eat Italian out because Nick is skilled at making pasta from scratch at home. Aperto seems to be known as an Italian restaurant but that doesn't explain why there were two omelettes and only one frittata on the brunch menu.

Service: Immediately as we were seated, I shared the following exchange with the host/manager:
Him: Can I get you anything to drink to start?
Me: I think I'd like to take a look at the menu first.
Him: No, no! I am only asking about beverages now.
Nick and I ordered waters. I am not sure what is so unusual about wanting to see what juices, teas, or espresso items are on the menu before ordering my beverage but I guess that was not okay for this guy, who had no reason to be in a hurry because we were seated immediately upon arrival and there was no one else behind us. Our waitress was friendly though, in the good-at-doing-her-job-without-actually-expressing-her-personality sort of way. She apologized when Nick pointed out that he'd ordered French toast and she brought him pancakes, in the it-is-my-job-to-say-sorry sort of way.

Food: Maybe my exchange with the host/manager before I could even pick up my menu put a damper on things. And maybe their little almond muffins that they serve with brunch were supposed to be dry and hard, but to me a dry and hard muffin is a stale muffin. This is the listing on the menu for what I ordered: "Grilled Four Cheese Sandwich: melted fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, goat and grana cheeses, Sicilian olives and arugula on Italian bread". It came with homefries. I started eating right away even though Nick had to wait for his French toast but my homefries were already cold; they were also so perfectly cubed that there was nothing homey about them. My sandwich tasted like a Grilled One Cheese Sandwich where mozzarella was the only cheese in it. Also, by "Sicilian olives" they meant half of an olive on one side of my sandwich and about 4–5 olive halves on the other side. The most prominent-tasting ingredient was the arugula.

Ambiance: They had a nice little open kitchen area and a warm color on the walls. The larger tables had bright blue vases with vibrant-colored flowers in them. I enjoyed admiring the cool-looking purple flower on the table next to us but the camera on my BlackBerry decided to make it blue.

Rating: Not recommended.

Aperto is located at 1434 18th Street, San Francisco, California, 94107.

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