izza fans and wine aficionados alike visit A16 in San Francisco’s Marina neighborhood with similar intensions: to enjoy the flavors of Italy’s soulful south.
Our restaurant shares a name with the highway that runs from Naples to Canosa, Puglia. True to our namesake, we gather our inspiration from southern Italy, particularly Campania, the region surrounding Naples. Chef/owner Liza Shaw oversees the menu, which features fresh pasta, house-butchered and house-cured meats and authentic Neapolitan pizza. Complementing the rustic menu, Wine Director/owner Shelley Lindgren selects wines that highlight the indigenous grapes from Campania and nearby regions.
Since we opened A16 in February, 2004, we’ve had the honor of welcoming several renowned Italian winemakers for wine dinners and special events. We also celebrate local farmers and purveyors by partnering with organizations such as Outstanding in the Field, Roots of Change and Slow Food.
Wine Director and owner, Shelley Lindgren’s reputation for seeking out Italian wines made with little-known grapes has earned her recognition as a wine pioneer. She has been named Best Wine Director in San Francisco magazine, a Best New Sommelier in Wine & Spirits, and one of the top ten sommeliers in the country by Bloomberg Markets magazine. Yet Lindgren, who has worked in restaurants since high school, feels that her job is less about creating high-profile wine lists and more about sharing her passion for wine and hospitality with guests.
Lindgren didn’t concentrate on Italian wines initially. After graduating from the University of San Francisco, she spent six years at the fine-dining restaurant Fleur de Lys while earning her sommelier certificate. Between her tenure at Fleur de Lys and Bacar, Lindgren earned a culinary certificate at the Tante Marie Cooking School. But it wasn’t until her first trip to Italy in 1999 with her husband, Greg, that she began to recognize the variety – and potential – of Italian wines from emerging regions.
After their trip, the couple contemplated opening a modest wine bar serving regional Italian wines and pizza. Their plans evolved when they met Victoria Libin, an attorney and passionate advocate of authentic Italian cuisine. Together they put together the team that opened A16 in 2004 and SPQR in 2007.
Lindgren continues to search for evocative wines to serve at A16 and SPQR. To stay current, she embarks on rigorous tasting trips to Italy twice a year. In the restaurants, she mentors employees by encouraging them to earn sommelier’s certificates.
As a member of Les Dames d’ Escoffier, Lindgren stays involved with San Francisco’s food community. She has taught classes at the Culinary Institute of America, and is a regular instructor at Tante Marie. In her first book, A16 Food + Wine (Ten Speed Press, 2008) she shares her passion for Southern Italy and its wines.