A16: More Casual and Even Meatier at Lunch in the Marina

  • Home
  • California
  • A16: More Casual and Even Meatier at Lunch in the Marina
Restaurant San Francisco

A16 brings modern, soulful Italian cooking and wine to the Marina.

In 2006, my family convened for a soulful Italian meal at Shelley Lindgren and Chef Nate Appleman’s Marina district restaurant. A16, named for an Italian autostrada, was so popular that we were relegated to a high-top table at the wine bar, and happy to get that much. At lunch, A16 is more casual, with more open tables. When the hostess led us to the back patio, I spotted the tattooed chef and his kitchen staff butchering animal carcasses on the counter of his open kitchen. I knew then that we were in for a good meal, and that it had to involve plenty of meat.

Pizza Oven San Francisco

The type of oven a pizzeria uses is of paramount importance. A16’s stylish wood-burning oven is flanked by grey tiles and decorated with the restaurant’s logo: a crossed fork and spoon. Look through the mouth of the oven to spot flames dancing around individual-sized pizzas.

Salumi San Francisco

Chef Appleman is known house-made salumi, and after seeing how fresh his meats are, I had to taste the results of his butchering. The Salumi Platter featured a sampling of the day’s offerings: silky Prosciutto San Daniele, spicy Soppresata (house-cured), luscious Ciccioli (house-cured) and Coppa di Testa (house-cured), and rich Pork Liver Terrina (house-cured) on crostini.

Meatballs San Francisco

I’d previously eaten Chef Appleman’s chicken meatballs. Since he can coax big flavor from such a bland animal, I had to taste what he could do with a beast as delicious as the pig. Pork meatballs ($14) braised in tomato and plated with basil and Grana Padano were hearty and satisfying.

Pizza San Francisco

There was no doubt we’d order pizza. It was just a matter of which one. Salsiccia ($14.50) was slightly different than the one I ate a year ago, sporting hacks of fennel sausage, roasted peppers, red onions, mozzarella, Grana Padano, garlic and chiles. I left for two minutes to drop quarters in the parking meter, and when I returned, two slices were already missing. I couldn’t hold it against my dining companions. I wouldn’t have waited either for a pie with such a supple crust and powerhouse toppings.

Soup San Francisco

Mitch kept it simple, ordering market-driven summer vegetable Zuppa with basil and Pecorino ($10).

Some higher-caliber dishes are reserved for dinner service, but there were still more than enough options to fuel an excellent A16 lunch.

A16: More Casual and Even Meatier at Lunch in the Marina


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Leave a Comment