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Hand-painted paper boxes in shapes to charm food lovers

February 28, 2012 |  9:00 am

Whenever I’m in San Francisco, I try to stop in for lunch at Zuni Café on Market Street. I’ve been going there ever since chef and co-owner Judy Rodgers started cooking there in 1987. At lunch, have a bowl of polenta swirled with mascarpone, house-cured anchovies with celery, or pipérade with a fried quail egg and rosemary toast — and if you have the time, the chicken for two roasted in the wood-burning brick oven and served with a Tuscan-style bread salad.

Almondbox2After an espresso -- and maybe a couple of biscotti (the recipe in "The Zuni Café Cookbook" is the best I’ve found) -- head over to Bell’occhio an enchanting shop tucked in an alley on the other side of Market.

Filled with beautiful ribbons, paper goods and romantic little treasures, Bell’occhio is perfect for whiling away a rainy afternoon. I just discovered the shop has a website too, which could be dangerous.

I have a thing for brushes and Bell’occhio has a wonderful collection of brushes for dusting, cleaning bottles, cleaning bicycle and motorcyle wheels, whatever. Poking around the website, I also found these charming hand-painted paper boxes in the shapes of a truffle, a morel, a strawberry, a raspberry (this one is flocked!), a lemon, an apricot (flocked too), an apple, a walnut, a flageolet, a cacao bean, a coffee bean — and a fuzzy green almond.

Bell’occhio, 10 Brady St., San Francisco, (415) 864-4048; www.bellocchio.com. Paper boxes, $16 to $28.


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Photo:  Fuzzy green almond box. Credit: Bell'occhio.