San Francisco's Tosca and Alamo's Izzy's open

Oct 22, 2013 1037

By Jackie Burrell

Tosca redux: We don't usually write too much about San Francisco restaurant openings -- there are too many exciting things going on this side of the bay. But we're making an exception for the resurrection of North Beach's iconic Tosca Cafe, which has just reopened under the direction of New York City's James Beard award-winning chef April Bloomfield and co-owner Ken Friedman. That's plenty thrilling enough, but the wine list is being curated by Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon fame and Ceri Smith (S.F. wine shop Biodivino), and they've got Bourbon & Branch's Isaac Shumway doing cocktails, including a spiked cappuccino homage to Prohibition.

They've replaced the 93-year-old venue's fake-leather banquettes with red leather, restored the murals and introduced an actual Italian menu -- Tosca had been a foodless bar since the 1960s. And yes, the piano is still there. People, it's Tosca's. There has to be a piano. Foodwise, think oxtail terrine ($11), bucatini with guanciale ($18) and grilled short ribs ($32) -- and cannoli with fennel seed praline ($7).

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