Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Review: Buon Gusto Ristorante, South San Francisco, CA

Tonight I had the opportunity to make my second visit to South San Francisco's Buon Gusto Ristorante (located at 224 Grand Avenue). My first visit was probably two years ago, and while I couldn't remember what I'd ordered that night, I did remember two things: I had thoroughly enjoyed the visit, and the complementary Marsala was wonderful. So, finding myself in the area on business with no better plans for the evening, I decided to see if a second visit could live up to the expectations of those memories.

Short answer: you betcha. I'm, like, a sub-amateur reviewer, so don't look for grandiose words here (other than, maybe, "grandiose" — but that's it, no more!). I just know what I like. And tonight, I liked everything.

I was greeted by the owner, who seems like just a classically pleasant man. And the various other staff with whom I interacted shared that quality, too. After being presented with the night's specials, I ordered a glass of the house Chianti, and one of those specials: a sautéed swordfish with a tomato-based and caper-ful sauce, with some spaghetti and vegetables on the side. I opted for salad instead of soup as the appetizer. The salad and wine were each served promptly, and while there was nothing particularly interesting about the salad, it was good. I actually had low expectations for a house wine, but was pleasantly surprised. The entrée arrived soon after I finished the salad, and was also really good.

When I'd wrapped up the main course, I was of course presented with dessert and coffee options. Now, I'm not a tiramisu guy. Actually — and my wife will testify to this — I abhor tiramisu. The idea of eating what typically amounts to cold, soggy, sponges of cookie-cakey-whateverness has repeatedly proven to be a bad one in my experience. But for whatever reason, tonight I clicked that mental "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and ordered the tiramisu (and a capaccino). You'll have to draw your own conclusions, though, because it was incredibly good (and I mean that quite literally). I don't know if it was good because it is what all other tiramisus aspire to be but aren't, or because perhaps it isn't really tiramisu at all and they pulled one over on me — the reasons matter so little to me after enjoying that delightful treat. And, luck of lucks, it came paired with another shot of complementary Marsala. Mmm...

So, plenty of really good food served by nice people in a pleasant atmosphere for $46.50 plus tip compelled me to post this review. As with all reviews, YMMV, but in this reviewer's opinion, it's gas money well spent.

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