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A16: Food + Wine Hardcover – September 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. One of San Francisco's most popular new restaurants, A16 is devoted to southern Italy's rustic cuisine and robust wines. This book, by its executive chef and wine director, begins by exploring eight grape-growing areas in the south, from the region's heart in Campania to mountainous Abruzzo and the isolated island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean. With a dizzying number of wines produced in each area, the focus is wisely kept on the grapes themselves, with eloquent essays on the history and qualities of both classic and less familiar red and white varietals, and food pairing tips as well as recommendations of wine producers. The second half presents some of those foods—peasant cooking like pasta with chunky, chili-spiked sauce, a rabbit mixed grill and, of course, Neapolitan pizza, with A16's Bay Area location showing in occasional ingredient twists like the tangerines in an arugula salad and the zesty punch of preserved Meyer lemon in a grilled shrimp dish. Executive chef Appleman's expertise is reflected in a chapter on the pig, including recipes for making pancetta and sausages, which are rather advanced for casual home cooks but, like the rest of the book, make fascinating reading for lovers of Italian food and wine. (Sept.)
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IACP International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards, First Book/Julia Child Award Category Finalist

"Savvy diners focus on the kitchen's soulful renditions of dishes from Campania, the region surrounding Naples, and a wine list that brims with discoveries from southern Italy. Sure, have a bit of pizza, but save room for dishes such as roasted porcini with green garlic, ricotta gnocchi with squash blossoms, or sweet pea ravioli with braised pork, pecorino, and black pepper."

-Wine Spectator

"This is a cook's cookbook; it deserves a quiet season filled with long chilly nights, the ideal time to enjoy its gutsy dishes."


  "A book you really can cook and learn from."

–Fine Cooking

 "A testament to the rustic fare and a convivial atmosphere of the restaurant."

–San Francisco Chronicle

"Fascinating reading for lovers of Italian food and wine." *Starred Review*

–Publishers Weekly


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089074
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for this book to come out and it's finally here! I write a food blog about Italian cooking and I absolutely love this beautiful book. A16 is an Italian restaurant in San Francisco which prides itself on cooking authentic food from the Campania region of Italy. It is named after the highway that connects Naples to Puglia, the "A-16". This is the highway from which the owners of the restaurant explored this region of Italy - tasting wines and eating food all along the way.

The book begins with one of the largest and most comprehensive discussions on southern Italian wines, written by wine director Shelley Lindgren. Covering wine from Campania to Sardinia, it's a full 58 pages! Anyone interested in Italian wines should pick the book up for this section alone. One of the white wines she writes about, Falanghina, intrigued me so much I ran right out and bought a bottle. It was such a nice surprise, a really delicious wine and such a change from the mediocre Chardonnays we have too much of around here.

One of the things I loved about this book is the attention to ingredients - it is not just a book of recipes. Chef Nate Appleman devotes a dozen pages to explaining key ingredients and their uses such as San Marzano tomatoes, salt, bottarga, anchovies, capers, herbs, olive oil, cheeses and vinegars. There is also an interesting section explaining the differences in the flours used in pizza making and the difference it can make in your pizza dough. There is a whole section devoted to pizza making which I found helpful. Chef Appleman talks about visiting the famous pizzeria in Naples, "Da Michele" and discovering the secret to its outstanding pizza dough - addding older, fermented dough to fresh dough to build a more complex flavor.
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Format: Hardcover
A16 is a gem of a restaurant in San Francisco which takes its name from the highway that cuts across the ankle of Italy's boot, through Campania and Puglia, and, not surprisingly, places its focus on the food and wines of this region.

This book is part cookbook and part textbook, beautifully written and with stunning photographs of Italy, the restaurant and some of the cooking methods. The section on the regional wines is amazing.

Most of the recipes rely on the ingredients to take center stage. Therefore, anyone following the recipes MUST seek out the highest quality ingredients possible. If you try the burrata antipasto, you will never know how truly heavenly it if you use supermarket burrata, which is grainy in texture and not worth eating. It is definitely worth finding a cheese shop that either carries, or will order, burrata imported from southern Italy or made domestically by the Gioia Cheese Co. in South El Monte, CA. The book includes recipes for making some of the more difficult-to-find ingredients at home where possible.

Great cookbook, great restaurant.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
..then I believe it would be one of my best dining experiences.

I not only collect cookbooks, but I actively use them. This is a fantastic cookbook that focuses on the Campania region in Southern Italy, and for me, it's in the same vein of excellence as Anne Willan: From My Chateau Kitchen. Probably because of several factors present in each book; the love of culinary arts is obvious and there are narratives that explain, teach or entertain. They both highlight the cooking style of a region and success with the recipes is achievable.

I like the organization of the A16 better, with the chapters on Antipasti, Pizza, Zuppa, Seafood all the way to Gelato. The book is the size and weight of a college textbook, with nice paper stock and photography as good as it gets. Other reviews have mentioned the wine section, which is substantial and gave me new wines to try that I hadn't heard of or tried before. I am fortunate to have a wine store (The Wine House) that carries many of the suggestions. I guess that it's no accident they are listed in the resources section at the end of the book. But I digress.

What carries a cookbook for me is more than being an instructional manual, but the how's and why's and history of a cuisine. In most any country, cooking is part of the cultural foundation, and while that may not be necessary to know, for me, it adds something. In that, A16 delivers. The section on Naples and pizza was just perfect for me. From what I read, I'll never look at a mass market pizza the same way again. Nor will I buy crushed canned tomatoes again either, instead, I'll opt for the canned whole tomatoes and crush them myself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is really gorgeous. I actually have it out on my coffee table. The book is broken into two parts. The first section deals with wine and, to be honest, I've done little more than look at the pictures in this section. The second part is the recipe section. Directions are clear, and many of the ingredients are explained in detail. Some of the ingredients may be hard to find but the photos and descriptions make you curious enough to seek them out. I made the meatballs and marinara and they were absolutely wonderful.
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