The Stinking Rose is San Francisco's famous garlic restaurant. As they say, all you need to do is "follow your nose" in order to find this restaurant, because everything on the menu is made with garlic...including dessert! Apparently, this restaurant serves 3,000 pounds of galic each month! This restaurant's wit and lively atmosphere is perfect for large parties who are looking for a time.
Settled in San Francisco's little Italy (North Beach), you can't miss this restaurant's eye-catching neon sign. The inside is adorned with witty cartoons and photos and the ceilings are decorated wtih bulbs of garlic. The restraurant itself was pretty crowded, making it difficult to maneuver through the restaurant. We were in "tight quarters" with our neighbors.
Chef Andrea Froncillo offers prime rib, pastas, and sizzling skillets of seafood all prepared with the beloved "stinking rose." To start the meal off, the Bagna Calda or "garlic soaking in a hot tub" is the suggested way to enjoy the hosue-baked focaccia bread. This dish includes garlic cloves that have been oven-roasted in extra virgin olive oil and butter with a hint of anchovies. I found it tasty, but too greasy for my liking.
For my entree, I chose the gnocchi with shrimp, cherry tomatoes, olives, basil and of course, garlic! It was very tasty and the gnocchetti or "mini gnocchi" was a nice way to enjoy the tomatoes and olives in one bite.
The garlic theme even extended into dessert... yes, there was garlic ice cream!! The thought was so absurd, that I just had to try it. It was a gigantic bowl of garlic ice cream with a molasses syrup drizzled over the top. I can't say I loved it, but it wasn't very bad either. Upon first bite, it is definitely strange and quite gross, but after a few bites, the taste becomes more enjoyable. It was something to experience...I don't think I'll be ordering it again though.
Overall, this restaurant was fun and something to experience; however I think this place was a "one-time" kind of place. I experienced it once, and that's all I needed. The food can be quite rich (to balance out the the garlic) and it can be pretty pricey for what you get. Nevertheless, I would still recommend this place if you're looking for something unique...any garlic lover would have a good time at this restaurant that celebrates everything about garlic!
The Stinking Rose
325 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, Ca 94133