I had a chance to go to the newly opened Credo in San Francisco’s Financial District last night. Although the restaurant has been open for only a week, it is already very busy. When you enter the restaurant the first thing you notice is how light and airy it is. High ceilings, white walls with graphic art, and an open kitchen keep things in balance. Credo means “I believe” in Italian and indeed, on the walls are quotes that contain the phrase “I believe” from personalities as diverse as Howard Stern, Robert Kennedy, Bob Dylan, Stephen Colbert and more.
Another remarkable feature are the tables by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, which are hand-made using recycled scrap wood and add warmth to the space. Best of all, because the tables are large and not positioned too closely together, you have a lot of privacy. Service is very good: attentive but not intrusive.
Chef Marco Maggi is from Tuscany so the food reflects his northern Italian heritage. It is a large menu with antipasti, pizza, pasta, meat and fish courses, contorni (side dishes) and desserts.
We started with a very delicious octopus carpaccio with hearts of palm. Then, I had house-made fettucine alla bolognese, while my dining companion decided to go for one of the meaty main courses, the grilled beef steak sliced and served with Tuscan style roasted potatoes and garlic spinach. The fettucine was perfect and the sauce, which does not have a lot of tomatoes and is drier than what most people know as “bolognese”, is exactly the way bolognese is served in northern Italy. My dining companion’s steak was succulent, and the sides of garlic spinach and potatoes were the perfect accompaniments. For dessert we decided upon the tiramisu, which was light and not too sweet (unlike the tiramisus I have encountered in too many restaurants here that cater to people who like their desserts sticky-sweet).
The wine list is small and does not have (yet) my favorite Italian reds (the Barbera d’Alba). Credo is still experimenting with the appropriate mix. They do have grappa but they are pricey. The espresso is excellent, made the Italian way, with just the right flavor and very thin layer of foam on top (it is not sludgy or too bitter).
In all, Credo is a terrific addition to the restaurant scene in San Francisco and since it’s in the Financial District, close to where I live, I will definitely be coming back.
360 Pine Street (Pine & Montgomery)
San Francisco, CA 94104
+1 415 693 0360