Anniversary Eats: Brindisi Cucina di Mare (San Francisco)

Kim and I celebrated six years of “marriage” 1 this weekend with a trip to our favorite city by the bay. Each of our four meals on the road was memorable, so I’m sharing.

Previous: TartineCutija Taco Shop

Note: this is not one of the four meals referenced above. Let’s call this a lesson in convenience.

Kim and I sat in traffic at the base of the Bay Bridge for two and half hours thanks to a guy that thought he wanted to jump, so by the time we settled into the hotel, we were in desperate need of a drink. The wine bar down the block offered that, but six ounces later, we were hungry. We scrapped our plans to trek across town to A 16, and instead typed “Italian” into Yelp. I’m not even sure we read the reviews—we just saw that Brindisi Cucina di Mare was around the corner.

We waited a good five minutes before our waitress arrived; to her credit, she told us how busy she was, and how she had forgotten to check outside. No sweat! Then she told us how awesomely “not San Francisco” we were and made a few inappropriate jokes.

Still, that wasn’t what turned us. It was the bread—it wasn’t fresh-baked. It was the same fresh-thawed variety found in “Italian” chains around the country. So we ordered drinks and an appetizer to hold us over.

Behold, the clams:

Clams from Brindisi Cucina di Mare, San Francisco

They look tasty, right? Meh. It’s hard to screw up something with clarified butter. The dish confirmed that this was not where we wanted to celebrate our anniversary, so we headed to North Beach to salvage the evening.

Up next: Cotogna.


1 We asked a friend and missionary to marry us in front of our families, but due to a misunderstanding with the County of Fresno, he could only go through the motions. So we were married legally at the courthouse 11 days later.

7 Responses to “Anniversary Eats: Brindisi Cucina di Mare (San Francisco)”

  1. Chuck
    June 16, 2011 at 4:31 am #

    I can’t stand experiences like that. Nothing like settling for a place because you’re famished, then having the waitress be an a-hole only to find out the food isn’t worth the hassle. Boo!!!!

    • james
      June 16, 2011 at 4:35 am #

      Agreed, Chuck. The good thing about a city like San Francisco, though, is that there’s always another option down the street!

  2. Chuck
    June 16, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    That’s right. I wish Fresno was like that. My dad was just in San Diego and we chatted about how many food options are there, that aren’t chains.

    We used to have an Italian dive that we went to a lot in San Francisco. It was a family favorite. The food was rustic Italian but was just so-so. It was just the experience that mattered, and the drinks.

    This article sums it up nicely. Too bad it had to close. http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-02-21/bay-area/17282581_1_family-style-customers-new-chef

  3. Tari Pie
    June 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    At least you didn’t waste the whole meal. Our miserable anniversary dining experience was prolonged because the waitress wouldn’t take just our starter order while we thought about dinner. She told us that they didn’t do it that way and would only take our whole order all at once, then walked away.

    PS – Love this picture of Kim.

    • james
      June 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

      Wow, that’s horrible, Tari! I would have been furious.

      • Tari Pie
        June 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

        Yea. The whole experience was horrible. I’ve been wanting to write a review for yelp (it wasn’t in Fresno) but was waiting till I calmed down a little.

        I’m glad you had a great Anniversary weekend. Do you celebrate both dates?

        • james
          June 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

          We usually split the dates down the middle and celebrate once, but we might end up at dinner in town on the 22 🙂

Leave a Reply