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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
A PERSONAL REVIEW OF RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD

ALIOTO'S
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

This restaurant is more of a San Francisco tradition than Rice-A- Roni!  It got its humble start as a little crab shack back in 1925 selling those wonderful Dungeness crabs that are still all the rage on the wharf.

The place is right on the water at the world famous Fisherman's Wharf and I have a routine when dining there.  We always split a whole Dungeness crab for a starter.  A little extravagant, I know, but well worth the indulgence.  I then interrogate the waiter about the freshest fish in the house and go with that for my main course.  You really can't go wrong here.  All the soles are good including rex, and petrale.  Tiny sand dabs are always a treat lightly battered and fried to perfection.  They also have excellent Pacific halibut and if you like salmon, it's always on the menu.  Ditto for tuna.

A house specialty, and I highly recommend it, is the cioppino, which is a rich tomato based Italian fisherman's stew loaded to the brim with clams, mussels, shrimp and usually some other goodies.  It's a lot more hearty than French bouillabaisse and really sticks to your ribs on a chilly evening with the wind blowing off the bay.

If you're stubborn and insist on eating meat, no problem.  They've got a good selection of steak and veal dishes and some fowl on the menu, too.

While in the City by the Bay, you should try this place at least once and think about the hundreds of thousands who have preceded you in feasting here.

Alioto's is located at the wharf at 8 Fisherman's Wharf.  Just look for the giant fish sign!  Their phone number is: (415) 673-0183.  Their web site is located here.