Many years ago, I used to throw a happy hour at VERTIGO on Polk Street, and one of the bartenders (Derek Burke) and I would share stories of how we missed Italy, the cuisine, and la dolce vita. He’s an avid cook, always sending me pictures of homemade pastas and braises he’s cooked up with his delightful girlfriend, Stephanie Magalhaes, another total Italophile. Burke has been in the restaurant and bar business all his life, and Magalhaes is currently a server at Just For You Cafe in Dogpatch.
Flash forward to present day, and the two of them are going to be hosting a pop-up dinner twice a week at Just For You called GUIDO. The menu is all about homey, simple, well-made Italian dishes, the kind of dinner you want in the middle of the week (and without spending $100). As the couple explained to me, “Guido is the husband who doesn’t want anything fancy, but he’s finicky. He just wants casalinga (“housewife”) cooking—the kind of good food his wife cooks.”
The menu includes a few antipasti, all under $9 (Caesar salad, polpette, or involtini of eggplant with housemade ricotta); pastas include lasagne, ravioli with Swiss chard and ricotta, or spaghetti and meatballs (plus pasta for the kiddies); and meatier mains like pollo alla cacciatora (braised chicken legs with polenta, $16.95) and osso buco ($18.50) with polenta. Ingredients are market fresh, and many of the dishes are well-suited for take-out. Dinner is Wed and Thu from 5pm-9:30pm or so (this week is the soft opening), and there are plans to offer an early dinner special at 5pm (stand by). Wine and beer available. Cash only. Follow Guido on Facebook for updates on the menu, specials, and more. Just For You Cafe, 732 22nd St. at 3rd St., 415-647-3033.
There was an explosion of news yesterday about chef Ravi Kapur (formerly Prospect) popping up at ~CITIZEN’S BAND~ this coming Monday February 20th. Since the seats for his 10-course, Hawaiian-inspired supper ($65, including tax and tip) are sold out, stand by for an announcement of the next one (you can follow him on Twitter here). There are a few seats that will be available at the counter for walk-ins if you want to give it a go, starting at 5:30pm.
Awwww, Guido! Photo from Guido’s Facebook page.