It’s all here….a perfect name for a perfect restaurant! On the sort of sketchy corner of Columbus and Broadway, at the end of San Francisco’s North Beach, is one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever been to. The neighborhood used to house all the strip clubs…but in recent years, the strip clubs have gone and have been replaced with sports bars and restaurants. There are still a few remnant ones which make for an interesting stroll up and down the street (and also people watching opportunities!)
E` Tutto Qua was born three years ago by the same owner that began North Beach’s Steps of Rome about 20 years ago. He sold Steps of Rome, moved back to Italy for awhile, and then came back. According to him, this new restaurant was just “handed to him” because it had been the location of several failed businesses. He took it on, changed the name, and created a sensational place. The food is so authentic that you would literally feel like you are back in Italy. The ingredients are fresh, the pasta is homemade, the pizzas have thin crusts (just like Italy), and the sauces and entrees are all created with much care. If you are looking for Pasta Alfredo, you will have to look elsewhere!! The gnocchi is just like Nonna makes (and that is a very hard act to follow!) The waiters are mostly all Italian (and recent transplants at that) and will delightfully carry on conversations in Italian with anyone that shows some interest. It is so nice to see so many young Italians making San Francisco their new home.
The restaurant is modernly decorated – there are no gawdy Italian statues or paintings on the wall. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes I like Italian gawd! It adds its own character and charm to restaurants. But, in the case of E` Tutto Qua, the ambience has its own understated charm. The many windows give it a vibrancy and life that is electric. You feel like you are a part of all the action that North Beach offers in the evenings! There is an upstairs dining balcony, as well, for larger parties which is a bit more quiet, but which still allows you to feel a part of the restaurant because it isn’t totally closed off.
We will surely be returning to E` Tutto Qua for many more dinners and special events.