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The wine list is impressive, spanning Italy’s many celebrated—as well as lesser-known—regions and grapes.

< 8 only better for the environment but also produces pizzas of the same desirable quality and texture as wood-fired pizzas. The pizza dough, involving an 18-hour fermentation process, was developed on one of Rulli’s most recent trips to Italy. When baked in the special gas-fired oven, pizza crusts are surprisingly light, with a tantalizingly crispy outer layer and a soft, airy interior. Named after famous streets in San Francisco, Ristobar’s pizzas fuse gourmet ingredients to create melt-in-your-mouth combinations, like the Divisadero—tomato sauce, radicchio, balsamic and pecorino; Valencia— ricotta, goat cheese, asiago, pear and watercress; and Vesta (named after the street on which Rulli was born)—tomato sauce, ricotta, fennel sausage, speck and rucola. Pastas are housemade in Rulli’s Larkspur bakery then filled with unique and savory creations by Chef Auriana in the Chestnut kitchen. A newly introduced gnocchi is rich and flavorful and yet not overpowering—a divine culinary concoction made with gorgonzola dolce latte and Sicilian pistachio. A likewise satisfying and light risotto is made with vialone nano rice, tossed with white shrimp, prosecco and tomato. Delicate pockets of fresh ravioli are

10 • SPRING/SUMMER 2010 Menus of Marin

made seasonally resplendent with spring peas, fava beans, cipolotto onion and erbette greens. All of these culinary delights are served in an expansive dining room filled with natural light and sleek, dark wood and leather furnishings. Large windows flank the entrance and side wall of the restaurant—which will soon transform into a glass-enclosed outdoor patio that can be opened on warmer days. Elaborate and lively Italian Renaissance-style paintings and trim adorn the walls and ceilings, colorfully enhancing the warm, rustic Italian palette of Ristobar’s chic interior. An elongated marble-top bar spans the length of the sizable room, creating a comfortable, convivial ambience. The bar proudly serves wines—including 3-ounce tastings, 6-ounce glasses, 10-ounce carafes, 16-ounce decanters and full bottles— from the Enomatic system, which helps sustain quality and consistency for every pour. And the wine list is impressive, spanning Italy’s many celebrated—as well as lesser-known—regions and grapes. An extensive list of local and Italian beers, along with creative wine-based cocktails, is also available. Desserts alone could make Ristobar the destination of choice for the Bay Area’s dining elite. In addition to Rulli’s famously revered panettone—here, made into a decadent bread pudding topped with vanilla gelato—the trilogia al cioccolato showcases a triage of heavenly chocolate tastes; a classic tiramisu is exalted with luscious housemade ladyfingers soaked in espresso, coffee liqueur and sambuca with creamy mascarpone (an unforgettable treat paired with a Barolo Chinato); and a viaggio nel sud—made with sheep milk ricotta cannoli, warm baba rum and Montepulciano grape jam pastry—pays tribute to Southern Italy with a recipe from Rulli’s grandfather. Refined yet familial, Ristobar simply expands upon the Emporio Rulli brand of good living, good eating (and drinking) and excellent company.  Ristobar, 2300 Chestnut Street, San Francisco. 415.923.6464.; Emporio Rulli, 415.924.7478.

Menus of Marin Spring Summer 2010  
Menus of Marin Spring Summer 2010  

A city by city listing guide to restaurants in Marin