Corso Trattoria extensive guide to Berkeley and San Francisco area, plus inspiring articles about trips around the world

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Corso Trattoria
  1788 Shattuck Ave./Francisco St.  Serving a rustic Florentine-style menu, this casual trattoria features high ceilings, seating at dark-wood tables with chairs, and a granite-topped bar in a back corner that is perfect for solo dining.  Signature dishes include pasta al sugo with a delicious sauce of braised beef and pork—this is my favorite, and I’ve had it with tagliatelle, pappardelle, and orecchiette--and a crispy-skinned chicken breast swimming in browned butter that is best sopped up with the house baguette (I understand this dish is based on one served at Trattoria Sostanza in Florence); recipe.   The menu changes regularly, but other especially good dishes include gnocchi, polenta, housemade salumi, house-pulled mozzarella burrata, deep-fried arancini, and crostini topped with wild mushrooms and ricotta-goat cheese spread.  Spectacular desserts have included gelato with house-made limoncello, and an amarena cherry sundae, with vanilla gelato, caramel and chocolate sauces, toasted nuts, and amarena cherries.  Wines can be ordered by the taste or half-glass, which permitted me to start with a sparkly prosecco and enjoy a rustic primitivo red with my meal. 

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travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers