Romancing La Famiglia at Franchino in San Francisco, CA
The first time I met Franchino, he took my hand and lead me into his restaurant for a cozy dinner. I didn’t understand everything he said, so he simplified his Italian for my benefit. “Rosso o biancho?” he asked, holding one bottle up, then another. “Er, rosso. Grazie,” I said, and he poured the chianti. As the evening progressed, Franchino drank, smoked, and sang traditional songs quite aloud to me while his wife served a glistening plate of aglio e olio, on the recommendation of his daughter. I would never again have garlic and oil pasta as lovely as what I tasted then, my first night there. It was just him—and her, and her—and me. It was magic.