In the middle of North Beach, (no, there’s no beach here), otherwise known as Little Italy, there sits the STINKING ROSE RESTAURANT.
As you enter, a sign says, "We season our garlic with food," and that’s the truth. Don’t bother coming here if you don’t like garlic, though the menu does feature two or three items with a cute little vampire face for those garlic haters amongst you. Let it be known, though, that the place reeks of garlic, so it’s really best avoided if you don’t like it.
On waiting for our table, we passed on the garlic shots at the bar but did eat the wonderful free garlic chips.
We got seated in the more romantic section, which was dimly lit and cozy, with candles on the tables with corks hanging from the ceiling, as well as Chianti bottles. It sounds odd, but it works.They brought us out bread rolls with a great garlic dressing whilst we browsed the menu.
There are plenty of vegetarian choices, and I opted for the Neon Ravioli, which was, of course, stuffed with garlic (as well as Ricotta) in a delicious basil cream sauce. All the pasta dishes are just $13.
The forty clove chicken roasted to the bone with garlic mashed potatoes ($18) looked good, but that will have to wait until next time. A menu item that made me laugh was the Silence of the Lamb shank served with fava beans.
There are a lot of tacky touches, but as the food was so good, you just have to love them. On leaving, there’s even a mini store of sorts to stack up on all your garlic needs, including a garlic room fragrance. They had great desserts, but in an area surrounded with pastry shops, I would save some belly space!