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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Road To Martini Madness Via A 16

How much fun was last night? The simple plan was to grab a bite at A 16, a popular Italian restaurant in San Francisco's Marina District on the way to Duncan Reyes' final Martini Madness of 2010. A 16 shares its name with the highway that runs from Naples to Canosa, Puglia. The southern Italy region of Campania is where most of A 16 dishes get their inspiration.

Our departure time was 4:30 from Campbell so we figured a 5:30 reservation at A 16 was doable. Think again and factor in major rainstorm and holiday traffic. The folks at A 16 were kind enough to hold our spot until we arrived at 6:00ish and by these smiles it is obvious that we were glad they did. Our entourage to The City included Stacie Tamaki, Lisa Whalen, Andy Mark, and Luke Goodman.

The A 16 Gospel according to my foodie friend, Andy Mark (itscookin.com) is to order lots of apps, sides and pizza. I'd love to tell you which dish was my favorite but I simply can't pick one. These two pizzas were a great intermezzo between the freshly made Burrata/olive oil/sea salt and crostini starter and the Pumpkin/Ricotta Gnocchi with braised kale, onions and panchetta.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get photographers to pose for pictures? Here Lisa is seriously composing her thoughts for tasting notes on this red.

When actually this shot is much more in character for her as she composes a shot of Andy's red.

We were having so much fun at dinner that the only thing we didn't notice was the clock. When we realized it was already 8:00 we quickly slipped out of our culinary bliss and into panic mode to get to Martini Madness before closing time. In an exit that almost rivaled a dine & dash departure followed by a quick trip across The Streets Of San Francisco we got to the Union Square hotspot called Infusion Lounge for the Holiday edition of Martini Madness.

When we arrived at Martini Madness hardly anyone noticed we were fashionably late. Duncan, of course, greeted us with open arms and Lisa had plenty of evidence of our frolicking at A 16 on her cell phone photos. We learned our lesson to allow more than one hour to get to S.F. especially in the rain at holiday time.

It was another successful Martini Madness at one of the hippest clubs in The City. My parting shot is of host Duncan and DJ Jason Mitchell of Music Solutions who did a fantastic job of keeping the energy up and sound pressure at a volume where we could all chat. Thanks again to Duncan for another memorable Martini Madness and to the A 16 crew (Stacie, Luke, Andy and Lisa) for an evening that was truly Dolce Vita!


  1. Ahh I am now reliving this fantastic evening through your beautifully captured blog post! One of these days I might just move right above A16 and keep an on-going reservation! So glad you enjoyed the experience.

  2. Andy, My expectations of A 16 were very high based on your build up but it completely rocked my world. Thanks for making it happen last night. It was our first but no doubt our last trip there.

  3. You have no idea how much fun it was to watch you and Stacie experience A16's food for the first time! I love dining out w/ foodies :D

  4. Carl, I am seriously drooling! And I'm just thinking how much I miss my favorite city in the world! Thanks for giving me just a "taste" (pun intended) of what sounds like a lot of fun and fleshly pleasures!!! Can I come next time???