Being a member of the Galileo Club of Richmond California you meet members of other Italian social clubs at the dinners. I have been to most of the clubs here in the East Bay. When I received an invitation to have dinner at the Italian American Social Club located in San Francisco, I jumped at the opportunity. It was a Tuesday evening and we are going to the City. Anyone familiar with Bay Area traffic knows going to the City can be a challenge with the sea of traffic on our local highways. Luckily we were in reverse commute traffic and the journey was swift. Parking Karma was turned off because I was a passenger but we did get the last coveted spot in a parking lot across the street from the club.
The Italian American Social Club has been existence since 1938. The outside of the building has a lot of old school historic character as it beckons us in for dinner and fellowship. We walk through the doors into the full bar area. I am sure this lounge has seen many a parties and cocktails served. There is a small side room where men are playing cards. This is a relatively small club (200+) members but it huge in hospitality. One of the things I love about Italian social clubs (besides raviolis) is the comradery displayed. At 7:30pm the dinner bell was rung.
We proceed into a large dining room with long checkered clothed tables. One end has a mirrored wall to give the illusion of being even larger. On our table is a very nice looking anti-pasta plate of olives, salami, peppers and another plate holding a mixed salad dressed with Italian dressing; of course. Immediately an older Italian lady rolls out a cart that contains bowls of some of the best minestrone soup I have ever had. It was thick with vegetables, pasta and surrounded by a very rich beefy broth. We piled Parmesan cheese on this hearty dish. The server kept replenishing our bowls with fresh hot soup but it was prudent to use restraint because we had more course to go.
Bowls of meat balls followed by plates of sausage and then a huge plate of spaghetti was our main course. Oh my, was my stomach beginning to stretch. Everything was so good. Even the French/Italian bread was fresh, slightly chewy and of course since this is San Francisco it was sourdough. We were not finished yet because we had dessert of ice cream and coffee. Oh yeah, this is the way I eat on a Tuesday night.
The Italian American Social Club is an old school club which I love. The cost of dinner was 30 dollars and did I mention this included all the wine you wanted to drink too? I have been invited back for next month’s dinner and how can I say no? My dance card is getting full at all these social clubs but I love it.