A new Italian restaurant from the team behind Nob Hill's AltoVino is heading into the Locanda space on Valencia Street, just a few months after the closure of short-lived fancy seafood spot Ancora.
Barberio Osteria is planning for a mid-summer opening at 557 Valenica, and it's good to know that that great space won't be staying empty for long. Tablehopper broke the news of the new restaurant, which is the project of chef Nick Kelly and his wife Calli Martinez, who together own AltoVino — where Martinez also serves as wine director. The husband-and-wife team took over AltoVino in 2020 from former owner, sommelier Claudio Villani, who owns beloved Cole Valley wine bar InoVino.
Per Tablehopper, the name Barberio is derived from the last name of Kelly's grandmother, and the restaurant will pay tribute to her Southern Italian heritage.
There will be plenty of handmade pastas on offer, with an initial menu offering things like AltoVinoa's well loved fagottini filled with salt-cod brandade and served with clams, and paccheri in a puttanesca-like sauce of tomatoes, olives, and anchivies. There will also be AltoVino's 10-hour Bolognese, made with beef, pork, veal, and prosciutto.
Starters include a bagna cauda with vegetables, arrancini filled with meat ragu, and in another nod to Northern Italy, an fritto misto "alla Bolognese."
Main dishes include a salt-roasted black cod, and a wood-grilled Schmitz Ranch pork chop, as well as AltoVino's 35-ounce (!) grilled porterhouse "La Florentina."
The wine list at Barberio Osteria will be all Italian, as Martinez tells Tablehopper, with the exception of some Champagne.
It doesn't sound like a lot of remodeling is going on, and the couple isn't taking on any investors, per Tablehopper — though they will be offering gift cards to raise some funds ahead of what they hope to be a late-July opening. The plan is to be open for dinner five days a week, Thursday to Monday.
Ancora, which was a high-end seafood spot from former Atelier Crenn chef de cuisine Nick Anichini and the team behind sustainable seafood distributor Water2Table, including owner Joe Conte. Conte apparently reached out to Kelly and Martinez about taking over the lease.
The quick closure of Ancora in February, after just eight months in the space, seemed like a unfortunate casualty of the late pandemic, and it also never received a proper Chronicle review. Conte said at the time that concept may have just been a bit too high-end for the neighborhood.
The price point at Barberio looks a fair bit lower, with pastas priced between $24 and $26, and mains — besides the steak which probably could serve four — priced between $39 and $68, with the latter price for a whole fish.