Cesario’s (San Francisco)

Cesario’s is in San Francisco, located just North-East of Union Square. It’s a traditional Italian restaurant and I assume they get a fair share of their business from people going to the theatres nearby. The interior is cozy, with closely spaced tables, and the atmosphere is nice. Our servers were very friendly, and quite adorable.

The menu features the expected Italian fare – bruschetta, calamari, a selection of pastas, chicken and veal. This is not the kind of place that changes its menu with the seasons or tries a lot of new things – since I went there in October, I don’t think the dinner menu has changed at all. They seem to stick with what they know. The wine list offered a number of relatively inexpensive selections and we started the night with a bottle of Prosecco.

Cesario's carpaccio

I started off with the carpaccio. It was a very standard presentation, served with some greens, an aioli drizzle, Parmesan and lemon wedges. It was good, I ate the whole thing.

Cesario's Calamari

My mom got calamari for her appetizer. It was breaded and fried, served with both a red sauce and an aioli. It was properly cooked, and tasty enough, though definitely not anything to write home about.

Cappellini al pomodoro

For my main I got Cappellini al Pomodoro – angel hair pasta with a tomato, garlic and basil sauce. It was a simple dish and it hit the spot. I’m quite sure the pasta is not made in-house, but the preparation was just fine.

Linguine with pesto and shrimp

My mom got a pesto linguine with shrimp. She enjoyed it.

Canolli

For dessert I got a cannoli. I found the pastry a bit too thick and I would have liked the filling to be a little bit softer. The taste was good though.

If I had to pick one word to describe Cesario’s it would be satisfactory. The food was good, but not outstanding. The menu and plating live a few years in the past – there’s no sense of culinary experimentation or progress here. If you’re looking for the best food in the city, or to taste the latest food trends, Cesario’s is not the place to go. However, if you’re looking for a pleasant, not overly expensive meal with generous (but not giant) portion sizes, Cesario’s will provide that. I probably wouldn’t go back, considering the abundance of other restaurants to try, but I enjoyed the meal I had there.

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