|“I want Capo’s to feel like a neighborhood place that’s been here for years, while also transporting guests to a moment in time when Italian-American cuisine began to form its roots in our culture.”
- Tony Gemignani.
Celebrating classic Chicago-style cuisine with an emphasis on authenticity and quality of ingredients, the menu dishes up favorites like true Chicago-style pizza served on four types of crust: Deep Dish, Cast Iron Pan, Stuffed, and Cracker Thin. Each style is made with Ceresota Flour from one of the oldest mills in Chicago. Capo’s signature dish is marked by the Quattro Forni pizza, taking Gemignani’s World Pizza Championship winning dish, the Tre Forni, to the next level by cooking it four different times as opposed to three; and is limited to 20 per day due to extensive specialized preparations. House specialties include the house-made calabrese and sweet fennel sausages served in a variety of dishes like theFired Roasted Stuffed Bell Pepper; and The Outfit “Antipasti Platter” with assorted Italian deli meats hand sliced daily on the antique slicer in the window display of the restaurant. Wood-fired baked pastas include Conchiglie and Mostaccioli; other retro classics are highlighted by Chicken Vesuvio with a classic sauce of white wine, garlic, lemon and peas. In addition to the dinner menu, weekend lunch specialties will include a Vienna Beef Dog served in a Chicago-style poppy seed bun with fries and house pickles.
The bar program, led by mixologist Elmer Mejicanos, will offer a full cocktail list and specialize in whiskey, offering over 100 different selections from all over the world, from the local 25 Year Old Hirsch Rye from the Anchor Distilling Company to Chicago-based whiskies like a Koval White Whiskey to exotic labels such as Nikka Whisky Single Malt “Yoichi” from Japan. Guests ordering the signature Chicago Cocktail with cognac, Cointreau,prosecco and angostura bitters, will be rewarded with a wooden token dispensed from the antique cash register that can be used for $1 off the next purchase of The Chicago Cocktail. The wine program will be directed by Gemignani’s long time business partner Marni McKirahan and will showcase unique labels from Midwestern wineries in Michigan and Chicago, along with a selection of Italian and Californian labels.
Gemignani’s eye for perfection is apparent not only through thefood and beverage program, but also in the restaurant’s space, from the cork floors to the hand-painted tin ceiling to the one-of–a-kindProhibition-style memorabilia. Gemignani worked alongside of Neapolitan-born carpenter Ricardo Jacobus, who constructed the handcrafted Art Deco-inspired bar. To both pay tribute to the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary and Gemignani’s admiration of the city’s history, the bar incorporates design elements resembling the bridge’s bottom piers. Each of the four oversized red leather booths in the dining room pays tribute to an infamous Chicago mobster: Tony Accardo, Frank Nitii, Jim Colosimo, and of course, Al Capone. The Capone booth features rare, personal items owned by Capone in his heyday, like poker chips from the Chicago Mob’s illegal gambling house, match books, whiskey bottles and a 35mm film reel of old Capone footage. Other antique items include an original 1930’s National-brand brass cash register, a functioning 1930’s telephone booth, original prints from The Chicago Tribunethat include images from Chicago’s Little Italy, and a restored panoramic painting of Adolf Restaurant, housed in the Capo’s space in the 1960’s and discovered by Gemignani in the floor boards during the building’s restoration. Gemignani’s attention to detailcontinues into the open kitchen, which features three ovens – awood-fired for cooking pizzas and baked pastas, and two brick ovens heated to different degrees to bake multiple layers of Chicago-style pies and other classic retro dishes.
Capo’s, located on 641 Vallejo St. in San Francisco, is open for dinner daily (closed Tuesdays). Reservations are available by phone only, (415) 986 - 8998. The restaurant accepts Visa and Mastercard.