I can't remember the last time that Drew and I went on a date. Between looking for jobs, looking for an apartment, working opposite schedules and moving, we just haven't had the time. I have a laundry list of restaurants that I cannot wait to start crossing off in our new city. One restaurant close to the top is A16, a chic trattoria devoted to the food of Southern Italy. Chef Nate Appleman has earned certification by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association, becoming one of the few certified pizzaiolos in the United States so their wood-fired pizza's are not to be missed.
From the outside, it looks tiny. However, when you walk past the wine bar, you quickly discover the long and narrow space that dedicates its entire right side to an open air kitchen with various work stations, including 2 wood burning ovens, a dough surface, saute and salumi stations and more. If you sit at the narrow 14 seat chef's table that wraps around the stations, you can watch a well-oiled kitchen that is surprisingly relaxed in a room packed with diners.
A16's wine bar boasts over 350 bottles to chose from and over 40 wines by the glass. The wine list is predominately Italian with a handful of California wines. I began our meal with a Moretti, a classic Italian beer, and mozzarella burrata with olive oil and crostini. The olive oil they use is top notch and adds even more depth to a dish that is very rich to begin with. For the next course we decided to try the roasted friarelli peppers with anchovies, calabrian chiles, lemon and fried breadcrumbs that we saw the sous chef make several times in front of us. Our Salsiccia pizza, a fennel sausage, roasted peppers, red onions, mozzarella, grana padano, garlic, chiles, came at the same time and the two went great together paired with my glass of a Sangiovese based blend.
The best part about this restaurant is that it's 3 blocks from my house. There is no question that this will quickly become one of our neighborhood go-tos. Word on the street is that it's always packed, especially on Meatball Monday's, so get there early or prepare to wait.