May 5, 2013 – Dinner at BoBo’s In San Francisco

There are not many dining establishments that I could actually say are an aphrodisiac, but BoBo in San Francisco, will make more then just your mouth water. Everything is pleasurable, from the music, to the food and colors and lighting. The name Bobo comes from boboquivari (bo-bo-kwee-var-ee) the Venetian court jester of comedy, embodied in a popular Italian marionette. There is lots of humor here, but the food is very serious, and sexy.

The interior is very amusing; there are hand blown fixtures, very fun, very SF. Good nuvo European music, fun fabrics and a friendly bar. Green glass waves over the bar, and a lively jester harlequin theme. There are 3 floors, 2nd floor has a private room, and 3rd floor is a small sexy dining room. With its seductive red interior, and funny pictures on the wall that are all not hanging straight on purpose, this place promised to be an amazing experience. Executive Chef Andrea Froncillo likes all of his frames off balance, a customer once tried to straighten them, he said no.

Executive Chef Andrea Froncillo is originally from a small seaside town outside of Naples, Italy. You could mistake him for a young Anthony Quinn; yes he is that handsome. He was taught to cook by his Nonna Carmela, who passed on a deep passion for food and life to her grandson. She did not know how to read and write so Andrea could never get any recipes from Nonna because she had memorized all of them.
From the beginning Andrea would experiment with food and developed an appreciation for the sensuality of texture, presentation and fragrance. His formal culinary training started in the early seventies and graduated with honors from the E.N.A.L.C., in Trieste, Italy, followed by a six-month internship at the Hotel Foresta in Genoa, Italy. Andrea also worked on a luxury cruise liner, and then made his way to the US in 1978. His resume ranges from a post as captain and sommelier at the landmark Ernie’s restaurant to opening a dozen acclaimed venues in Nevada, Alaska and California.

In the 80’s, Andrea and his friends and co-workers lived in North Beach. People like; Juliano Serrano, Mario Ascione and Giovanni Scala, a group of accomplished chefs in there own right. They all went on to open their own well known restaurants. Giovanni opened Piatti, Table 29, Scala’s Bistro and Bistro Don Giovanni. Mario opened Café Macaroni, and Juliano, after opening Sutter 500 with Hubert Keller, took over Masa’s in Union Square and later opened Picasso at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Andrea went on to become the Executive Chef of Calzone’s, The Stinking Rose, the Crab House at Pier 39, The Dead Fish, Bobo’s, the Franciscan at Fisherman’s Wharf, The Old Clam House and Salito’s in Sausalito.They have all stayed in touch throughout these restaurant incarnations and still enjoy cooking together when time permits.

Andrea has made many appearances on national and local news channels and cooking shows, including Now You’re Cooking (NBC), Woman 2 Woman (CBS), Good Day L.A. (FOX), La Cocina (LA Univision) as well as radio shows including Merrill Shindler’s Restaurant Show on 97.1 in Los Angeles; Dining Around with Gene Burns on KGO, and appearances on KABL, KMEL and K101 in San Francisco. He has also been featured in several Bay Area newspaper articles. His personality is very engaging, and charismatic, he seems to be a natural entertainer.

Here’s what I tried:

Bread – Calamati Olives, capers, sour dough, garlic, olive oil. This bread is so beautiful, and the flavor is incredible.

Bone-in filet mignon (when available). What a steak, dry-aged, perfect crust, spectacular seasoning, this is the steak to have.

Yellowtail carpaccio with diced chilies and olive oil ponzu sauce. Kind of Italian, kind of Japanese, either way it’s delicious.

Dungeness crab crostini with smoked salmon & avocado served with burrata. Wow, wow, wow, what else can I say, but order this as a starter.

Twice-baked potato, so rich so fluffy, just melts in your mouth.

Swiss chard, with garlic and olive oil. Simply great, a nice addition to the main course.

Here are the drinks I had:

Vodka Martini, perfectly balanced and shaken till icy. Good way to begin a fantastic meal.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Groth, Oakville Napa, of course this would be the perfect pair with the filet mignon.

Chardonnay Stuhlmuller Alexander Valley, was an excellent match with the Yellowtail carpaccio and the crab crostini.

Zinfandel, Brazin, Lodi, another good pair with the steak.

Syrah Green and Red Tip Top vineyard estate. This rich full-bodied wine was another home run with the steak.

Mango panna cotta with mango créme anglaise, talk about delectable, this desert is something you need to save room for.

Dunce cap cones – four cones filled with dark chocolate mousse
over ancho chili pepper chocolate sauce. Very decadent, like little upside down clowns, this desert was made with a good sense of humor.

Andrea lives in the thick of North Beach, he travels to his homeland, Italy, several times a year, just to get an idea of new trends in food there. His web site, Kitchen is filled with recipes for two and recommendations for romantic travel and dining throughout the world. He also has a newsletter; “Love Notes”, which is Andrea’s highly personal newsletter, containing news and tidbits about his travels, appearances and thoughts about life.

Andrea is a man of many words, his favorite is about his grandfather and growing up in Napoli, “My grandfather was a feisty old man,” he recalls. “I’ll never forget what he told me: ‘sex is like pizza,’ he said, ‘when it’s good, it’s very, very good; but even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!'” Andrea shakes his head and laughs. “And you know what? He was right!”

Eighty-five percent of Bobo’s clientele are local. There was a 30 something group behind me that really liked to eat slow and savor their meal. Well known for The Steak and The Crab, you can tell that people are coming here for the full dining experience. All due to the dry aged steak that is off the charts. Next time you want a sort of surf and turf come to Bobo’s and enjoy that sexiness of this remarkable cuisine.

1450 Lombard St
SF, CA 94123
(415) 441-8880



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