If I were voting for high school awards like Best Athlete or Most Popular, Locanda would get my vote (and the win) for Restaurant Most Likely on the Top 100 Restaurants List Next Year. It’s an easy bet and the odds back probably wouldn’t make me a dollar, since Craig and Annie Stoll’s ventures are grounded in articulate concepts, high-level service, and thoughtfully conceived and excellently executed food.
Locanda is their version of a Roman osteria, settled on Valencia Street in the busy Mission. The restaurant is urban, cool, modern — their service staff, the same. Even the landing page for Food & Drink on their website boasts a guy with a fierce looking tattoo. But the restaurant still exudes a warmth that you would associate with any osteria and the helpful service will guide you through whatever your quandary may be.
The food, as you would expect from the parents of Delfina and Pizzeria Delfina, is accessibly delicious. The menu (which changes often) offers familiar dishes, and unfamiliar dishes presented in a familiar way (I don’t usually have gulf shrimp and burrata in my pasta, but it was an intriguing and satiating combo). You can feel the soul behind these dishes and so you end up with a dining experience that is social, embracing, and delicious. An easy, easy vote for Most Likely to Succeed.
The sweetbreadsThe Cuscini with gulf shrimp and burrata.The linguini with padron peppers and anchovies.