Original Joe's Fine Italian Food | San Francisco, CA

A time-honored restaurant's second coming

Original Joe's is a new restaurant with a very old soul.

Seated in a horseshoe banquette, Negroni in hand, tuxedo-clad waiters buzzing around the room, you would be forgiven for thinking it was 1959.

The latest iteration of the restaurant is a reincarnation of the original Original Joe's, which Croatian immigrant Ante Rodin opened in the Tenderloin in 1937.

That Joe's closed in 2007 following a fire, only to be resurrected in its new North Beach digs by Rodin's grandchildren. A new address, but the physical environs–and the menu–speak to the restaurant's roots.

The restaurant's best-known dish, the Joe's Special–an amalgam of ground beef, eggs and spinach ($13)–is available all day. Order that, or have the bay shrimp cocktail, a chilled silver coupe full of tiny sweet shrimp ($9), and the veal picatta, the tender scallopine briny with capers and bright with lemon ($26). In keeping with Italian-American tradition, the obvious choice of side dish is the meat-filled, red-sauced ravioli.

A lifetime of bad tiramisu may have scarred you, but the version here ($8) is made with mascarpone-fortified sabayon layered with espresso- and Marsala-soaked ladyfingers.

You should share, but we understand if you don't want to.

Original Joe's, 601 Union St. (at Stockton St.); 415-775-4877 or originaljoessf.com