Castagna Restaurant-San Francisco

By Carol & Joe Davis
Dining Detectives

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San Francisco has always been a City people from around the world come to visit and many inevitably decide to make their home. The City's captivating style of architecture, fabulous food and broad range of activities casts a love spell that truly lasts. The influx of cultures also makes it an ever changing and growing city. Chestnut Street in the Marina has always been known as a hip dining and shopping neighborhood that has attracted both locals and tourists because it is near the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. Two brothers from Nice, France just opened a casual French Bistro style Café on Chestnut and we knew we had to try it. General Manager Jerome Meloni and Executive Chef Stephane Meloni offer cuisine based upon their French and Italian heritage. They have honed their skills working at and owning restaurants in France and San Francisco and now bring their home-style cuisine to the Marina at Castagna which has a small intimate dining area, counter and high top tables, as well as outdoor sidewalk seating.

We started out with Perrier Sparkling water and a basket of fresh Acme Bread baguette. While we looked at the focused reasonably priced menu we ordered wines by the glass.

The appetizers that we enjoyed were both excellent. The Pissa la Diere which is a traditional Nicoise Caramelized Onion Tart was quite unique and was served with anchovies on the side. We also loved the fresh and delicious Tartare De Thon which was a fabulous Ahi Tuna Tartare made with green onions, diced tomatoes, cilantro, olive oil shallots, ginger, soy sauce and wasabi coulis. The combination of flavors truly complimented the Ahi without overpowering it.

You must have Les Moules Vincentina which was a bowl of delicious mussels with spicy Italian salami, Espelette pepper and crispy jalapeños. This true bistro staple had fabulous broth which was herbaceous, subtle and not too spicy. The entrees are very reasonably priced as well. Our favorite was the Confit de Canard which was seared, crispy skinned duck leg confit served with a Tuscan white bean ragout. The sides we enjoyed included thinly cut French Fries and delicious Brussels Sprouts au jus.

Castagna offers Wines from France, Italy and California. The 2010 Sartori Pinot Grigio from Italy was lively and paired well with our starters and the 2009 Lois Latour Domaine Valmoisine Burgundy, France Pinot Noir paired perfectly with the Duck. We saved room for dessert and were glad we did. The Panna Cotta topped with Amarena cherries and roasted almonds was a spectacular desert. An espresso served in a lovely cup and a Sweet Provence Muscat wine were the perfect finish to our enjoyable dining experience.

Castagna serves French Bistro cuisine classic dishes with an Italian twist, as well as American food using seasonal, local, sustainable ingredients. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner you can also have Crepes, gourmet Burgers, Pastas, Neapolitan style Pizzas, Sandwiches and Salads. Chestnut Street and San Francisco are richer with the addition of Castagna Restaurant.

Castagna Restaurant
2015 Chestnut Street (at Fillmore St.)
San Francisco, CA. 94123

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