Review: Ancora.

Calling all pescatarians! Ancora is the newest seafood focused restaurant in the MIssion where fresh seafood shines.

Experienced chef Nick Anichini (formerly Chef de Cuisine at Atelier Crenn, a three Michelin starred restaurant in San Francisco) has collaborated with a co-owner of Water2Table (a sustainable seafood purveyor) to create a seafood-centric restaurant showcasing beautiful and sustainable seafood offerings. They offer an à la carte menu or tasting menu and we decided to opt for à la carte this night.

À La Carte Menu.

SF Anchovies Pan con Tomate (8.5/10).

A riff on the classic Spanish dish, pan con tomate. Toasted bread smeared with fresh tomato and topped with local anchovies. These bites were delicious, I just wanted more of them!

Gougères with Smoked Salmon Mousse (8/10).

Another tasty bite with airy gougères filled with creamy smoked salmon mousse and topped with smoked salmon slices and briny salmon roe. Yum!

Homemade Bread with Cultured Butter (8/10).

Solid rustic sourdough bread served with olive oil and cultured butter. However no culture butter can top Lazy Bear, it’s simply the best.

Celery Caesar Salad (8.5/10).

I really enjoyed this take on a caesar salad. Instead of romaine lettuce, the base was celery. The celery was cut up into thin long strands so it was easy to eat and had a great crunch. The dressing had all the flavors of a classic caesar dressing and the toasted breadcrumbs added another level of texture.

Spot Prawns with Sea Urchin Butter and Lime (8/10).

I’m a sucker for spot prawns…too bad they’re expensive! I wanted a little more seafood flavor from the melted sea urchin butter but the spot prawns themselves were so sweet and tender.

The real stars of the show were the next two dishes. Tommaso and I are critical when it comes to pasta as he’s from Italy and I lived there for 4 years. We were both blown away by the flavor of both of these pasta dishes.

Pappardelle with Monterey Bay Abalone Sugo (9-9.5/10).

Beautiful handmade thick ribbons of pappardelle were dressed in the most unctuous and rich sauce. The sauce tasted like it had been cooking for hours, developing that deep richness that you would typically get in a meat sauce. However, this was made from abalone and nori. So freaking good!

Plankton Tagliolini with White Surgeon Caviar, Leek Fondue, and Bottarga (9-9.5/10)

Another fantastic pasta dish and completely different from the previous. This was more delicate with nuances of sweet leek, lemon, and saltiness from the caviar and bottarga. Honestly, impeccable.

Our waiter happened to be Italian so Tommaso and him bonded. He was nice enough to gift us a dessert!

Gift: Grilled Peaches with Santa Rosa Plums, Buttermilk, and Fennel Pollen (7.5-8/10).

This was a nice way to end our meal. Seasonal fruit was nestled in a thick buttermilk sauce topped with a crispy tuile. The fennel pollen added a savory touch.

While we enjoyed our meal, it was on the pricier side which can be expected for quality seafood. I would most definitely go back for their pastas as those were the highlights of the dinner so my rating is an 8-8.5/10.

Leave a Reply