Italian. Acquerello is known for its extensive collection of Italian wines and fine dishes to match, such as sea bass carpaccio with Sicilian olive oil, lemon zest and green onion, or the ridged pasta with foie gras and black truffles. Tender pillows of Swiss chard and ricotta malfatti served with brown butter, sage and shaved Parmigiano are not to be missed. More than one critic has named Acquerllo as one of the best Italian restaurants in the country.

Giancarlo Paterni's Acquerello has stood as San Francisco's single most acclaimed Italian destination restaurant for well over a decade. Rustic refinement is the order of the day; Aqcuerello's dining room is all vaulted ceiling, dramatic floral arrangements, and stained glass. The food is sublime, the service polished, and the wine list deep and well researched.

This is not a place for your flashy Armani suit; the crowd at Acquerello is decidedly conservative, but on the night of our visit, the Charles Schwab types were packing it in for chef Suzette Gresham's acclaimed Italian cookery.

- Excerpt from Acquerello, Country Italian Elegance on Russian Hill by Luke Raimondo

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