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“Best creative restaurant in San Francisco CA”
Review of Incanto - CLOSED

Incanto
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Noe Valley
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Don't miss this dining experience. Incanto is a great experience especially if you like to cook. Reading the menu is a cooking class in and of itself. Stunning food and great service. I love the little touches and have never been disappointed (well, once or twice when I waited too long to call for a reservation.)The only thing I want at the end of dinner is to make plans to come back to Incanto. Chris and Mark have designed the perfect eating experience.

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Thank Zlato50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (90)
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29 - 33 of 90 reviews

Reviewed November 15, 2012

For those who don't know, the "Leg of Beast" is the 3-course meal shared by 6 to 8 people you have to reserve in advance featuring beef shank. We had done pretty extensive research seeing that this was Chris Cosentino's restaurant, featured on the Food Network, and were pretty excited after some of the reviews. That being said, after our experience this past Saturday I have to take issue with the hype and some of the reviews I have seen. Perhaps our expectations were too high.

In short, probably should avoid the "Leg of Beast" unless everyone at the table likes meat, and not much else. The featured item, Leg of Beast, is nothing special, unless you really like pot roast. In my opinion the family-style meal is not worth the effort or price. Frankly, we were so disappointed in the main course and appetizers that we contemplated ordering something off the menu, but decided against it as we already had spent $330 ($55 per person) just to sit down.

First, you should know they only have wine and beer so don't plan on having a cocktail before or after dinner. As a "beer snob", I have to point out the beer list is pretty weak and short featuring only a few options.

The Leg of Beast appetizers feature a salad made of bitters and vinaigrette, and nothing else, and antipasto with no cheeses or veggies (other than some roasted garlic and peppers), just sliced meats like head cheese. Both were relatively unimpressive. They also serve some bone marrow which you are to spread on bread.

The most disappointing aspect was the main course which, while tender, was not very flavorful. Essentially, the Leg of Beast is pot roast you could get almost anywhere.

The only impressive aspect about the meal, other than the service, was the desert. They had a sorbet and "flan" both of which were excellent. Unfortunately, they did not make up for the average food that made up the rest of the $600 meal after a couple bottles of their lower end wine.

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17  Thank bjilek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

After seeing Chris Cosentino, one of the owners and chef win Top Chef Master's I wanted to try his restaurant, being from San Francisco myself. We dined on a Saturday evening, party of 4.
Ambiance: bustling, a tad noisy, but not overbearing; everyone in the restaurant seemed happy and full of life. It's the kind of place you could dress up a bit or just come in jeans and you'd be fine.
At first I was put off because our waiter was running around so busy and ignored us. He then came over and told us he'd get to us when he wasn't so busy. I was wondering if this was going to be a bust. Once he came to us he was a jovial character. I think you'd either love him or hate him. He recited the specials, of which there were many, so fast it was hard to take in.
We later asked him to repeat some of them.
Once we settle in and actually ordered things went well. The bread for the table was beyond yummy.
Each of us(4 of us) had an appetizer, entree and dessert. We had a bottle of wine. Total with tip, tax, etc was $160 per couple so $320 total for 4 and as you see we ate and drank to our hearts content--it was very filling and I am a big eater as is my husband!.
Each appetizer, entree, and dessert were delightful--not a miss in the bunch.
Having seen the final Top Chef challenge i choose an entree from that menu which was the "Apology Letter"--scallops, sea urchin..--really wonderful! I also had as an appetizer a dish I saw on Top Chef (I wasn't taking any chances, lol) which was "Pork and Beans"-- a ravioli filled with pork and the most delightful white beans. So delicious.
A friend had the "Five Shades of Hay" lamb dish, again absolutely delicious.
The waiter told us he was ordering dessert for us, asked us how many, and indeed brought back an assortment of 3 desserts--all beyond tasty, so wonderful.
The food is refined, gourmet, and a bit edgy. We love the upscale Gary Danko for refined, but quiet ambiance. This would be my go to place for refined and casual.
I could see if we took this jovial waiter the wrong way he could annoy us, but we were in a playful mood so we were happy to joke around with him. In fact, when we go again i hope we get him, what a character!
I would recommend this restaurant for couples, romance, families or business. In fact, my husband and I told our teenagers about it and want to return with them.
GREAT GREAT place in the wonderful Noe Valley where I grew up (hence my Trip Advisor name from a street in the Noe Valley). We were so lucky with parking and I think it's as good/bad as anywhere in SF, maybe a tad easier to park than elsewhere.
It is worth the trip! I can tell you it is a safe and lovely neighborhood if you haven't been there before.
We really can't wait to go back, trying to find a time my whole family can go and eat to our hearts content. This is now one of my top restaurants in the world and that includes Paris, Rome, Dublin, England.
To me it ranks with Gordon Ramsay's Maze restaurant in London.

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Thank ElizabethStreetMoM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

what a super place from start to finish. the food is fantastic...and chris is very worthy of his win at top chef masters! but the staff is great as well. everyone is looking out for you. every little touch you could think of was covered. i cannot say enough good things about this place except that you should make the call and enjoy a great meal!

Thank jdteeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Planned a "foodie trip" to San Francisco for over a year. We made sure to include Incanto on the list of must visit restaurants, primarily because of chef Cosentino's reputation. We were sorely disappointed by the service. The food was ok, but the service was abominable.

Reservations were made a month in advance, confirmed the day before, and we still had to wait nearly 30 minutes to be seated in the middle of the crowded, LOUD restaurant.

My dining companion is vegetarian, I am not. The restaurant's website featured a menu that included several vegetarian options. The night of our visit, there was one unappealing semi-vegetarian dish on the menu, and one salad option. Our entrees were ok, but nothing spectacular, or worth a return trip to the restaurant. Both were under seasoned, and I would have asked for salt if I could have found our server.

Our server was rude, inattentive, and ignored us, while spending extra time with the folks at the next table - refilling their water, asking about the food, if they wanted another glass of wine, etc. We were invisible to her, even though she passed by our table at least 5 times during the course of the meal.

I ordered a side dish with my entree that did not arrive with the meal. The server never checked with us to see how we were doing, or if the meal was to our liking. At the end of the meal, I caught the eye of the manager, who was circulating the dining room, and asked about the side dish. He said it was a "communication error" and that the dish would be out shortly. I told him I didn't want it any longer. A few minutes later, a different server clears our plates, and comes to the table with two plates for my companion and I to share the side dish. I reiterated that I did not want the dish any longer. He said, "but it's ready. Don't you want it?" No, I did not. "We can box it up to take with you. It's not on your bill." No. I already told the manager that I no longer was interested in the side dish. Period.

To be fair, the manager did not charge us for the appetizers or the non-existent side dish. We did speak with him on our way out to gently, but firmly, express our disappointment with the very poor service.

If you don't mind waiting a long time to be seated (even WITH a reservation), or yelling across a small table to have a conversation with your dinner companions, and don't mind poor service, then this is the place for you. If you're looking for a cozy high-end dining experience, look elsewhere.

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5  Thank EYSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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