San Francisco, CA – It’s hard to select an Italian restaurant in the heart of North Beach when there are so many bright jewels on Columbus Avenue. My childhood friend Shirley and I were searching for just the right spot to celebrate my 49th birthday. We chose Michelangelo, not so much because of the menu, but because of the charming invitation of the owner—tall, gallant and uber-handsome Michelangelo Marcantonio.
Michelangelo’s promise of free wine and a Bruscetta appetizer helped seal the deal. It was Shirley’s birthday treat to me under the guise of "I just got paid." Our table gave us a view of Coit Tower and the gothic cathedral Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Before our dinner, we snacked on marinated Italian olives while drinking red wine. We split an order of Chicken Milanese, which is a delicate wafer thin breaded breast of chicken in white wine lemon sauce, served with broccoli and home-style potatoes and their house Lasagna. The combination of these entrees together was complimentary. Alone, the simplicity of each dish may not have wielded the rich texture I was seeking for maximum birthday taste bud explosion.
The homemade Tiramisu was the evening’s Coupe de Gras. The house lights were lowered and the wait staff brought me the liquor soaked concoction with a birthday candle on top. Singing Happy Birthday to me in Italian felt original, until we heard it two more times that evening. Michelangelo told me his birthday count was seven that night—he doesn’t require birth date identification to provide this gratis gift. If you’re looking for an authentic Italian meal with a warm, charming staff to serve you, I recommend Michelangelo’s. The price is right; the food is good, and the positive energy, priceless. Bon Appetit.