We Wanna Be Friends With Chef Alexander Alioto of Plin


After parting ways with his Russian Hill eatery Seven Hills –which was named the Best Italian restaurant in the Bay Area – Chef Alexander Alioto is opening up a highly anticipated new spot in the Mission.

You may have heard the Alioto name before the Seven Hills fame, however. Alexander is a fourth generation restaurater in San Francisco. Alioto’s Restaurant, a local landmark on Fisherman's Wharf which began as a fish stall in 1925, is one of San Francisco’s oldest fine dining seafood restaurants, and the family name has become synonymous with the city itself. Alexander worked as a dishwasher and server at the family spot before branching out with his own restaurant.

His new endeavor, Plin, will take over the old Conduit/Another Monkey space at 280 Valencia Street. It's a little bigger than his last gig, and has a full liquor license. 

“It’s Italian-based food with a lot of emphasis on pasta. Everything is small plates,” he told Insider Scoop. The menu will feature lots of seafood, including raw oysters and shellfish, and of course the namesake agnolotti dal plin.

Alioto hopes to open around the end of July, after a slight remodel. We caught up with the chef to talk about his favorite spots in the city, from a 4th generation native. 

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?  

Now I live in San Rafael, but for a long time I called Pacific Heights my home and I loved it there.  It was perfectly located and had great walkability.

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

Dungeness Crab at Alioto’s of course, it’s always fresh!

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

My perfect night is going out to a great dinner at one of the many restaurants in this city, I always like to try new places, and I love sushi—Okoze is one of my favorites—and fish restaurants.  After dinner, go to a play or comedy club and then a walk along the piers—if it was nice enough night. 

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?

I don’t do much, low key just means relax as much as I can with a two-year-old! I go out to Ocean or Baker Beach and play in the waves with my daughter. Or the Marin Headlands and walk in Devil's Gulch.

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

Marin Headlands

6. Quick-fire round

Burrito or Burger? Burrito

Presidio or Golden Gate Park? Golden Gate Park

BiRite or Mitchell's? Mitchell’s

Bike or MUNI? Bike

Fort Mason or Dolores Park? Fort Mason

The Independent or the Fillmore? Independent

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach? Baker Beach

 7. Three words that describe your life in SF?

Beautiful, fun, and lucky


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