I had a fantastic meal last night, and with no time to bake today, I thought I’d share it with you. If you live in the Bay Area and you like to eat food, you should definitely check out Pizzeria Delfina at one (or both) of their two locations in SF. The menu changes daily based on what local ingredients are available, other than a few of the pizzas that are consistent. Always start with a couple appetizers, get a pizza and a piatti to share, and definitely save room for dessert. I haven’t visited the location in the Mission at 18th and Dolores, but the Fillmore Street location has been a favorite of mine for over a year, and I may or may not have eaten there or ordered out two or three times in the same week on more than one occasion.
Before we get to the food, let me just tell you about the atmosphere of this place. It gets really busy in there, but it’s always upbeat, happy-busy. Never stress-busy. The staff are casual, young, hip, attractive, and happy to be there. There are romantic couples eating next to business professionals eating next to those cute Fillmore area families. It’s kind of an anything goes type of place. I ate lunch there one day while they were blaring (in a good way) Chuck Berry, and a few nights later we were all chewing along to Led Zep. Good music, nice atmosphere, upbeat but not rushed, and oh, the food is good too.
They serve a Piedirosso “DepieRose” Italian wine that I always get, and Joe generally ends up kicking back a couple pints of Peroni, an Italian beer they have on tap. Of course, we usually end up getting a couple bottles of Cheerwine too, just because it’s so freakin’ awesome and hard to find!
For our first course we had a simple but extremely flavorful Insalata Tricolore with lemon vinaigrette and grana padano cheese.
We also ordered my all time favorite cheese in the whole world, Burrata, served with some baby arugula, warm crostini and drizzled with olive oil. Oh dear, drool on the keyboard.
We’ve tried pretty much every pizza they offer at this place including prosciutto, fennel sausage, even cream pizza, but the classic Margherita sounded perfect last night. Mmm. I’ll be eating the left overs for lunch today.
One of the specials was Berkshire Pork Braciole, which was this amazing dish of pork shoulder that had been pounded out, then rubbed with this yummy sauce and lots of pine nuts and spices, then rolled up and sliced crosswise and cooked in this crazy-good red sauce. Deeeelicious. Almost picked the octopus imported that morning from Spain, but glad we stuck with the pork.
This is Joe’s “Uh, ya right you’re getting a bite of this,” face. Don’t worry, I got a bite.
The Fillmore Street location has housemade gelato in ever-changing flavors. This particular evening, we tried a couple baby scoops of strawberry and mascarpone flavored gelato. They disappeared quickly. While the gelato flavors change daily, one constant on the menu is the Amarena Cherry Sundae. Leaving Delfina without eating this should be a crime. Tahitian vanilla bean gelato. Check. Amarena cherries. Check. Candied pistachios. Check. Hot chocolate sauce. Check. Freshly whipped cream. Check. Again, drool on keyboard. Also to try: the fried pizza dough with mascarpone pastry cream.
And one of the coolest things about Pizzeria Delfina, is that it’s really not that expensive. All that food and two drinks each was just about $100, but you can easily get out of there under $50 for an appetizer, pizza, two beers, and dessert. And even under $20 for lunch. Also, they do take out! Woo!
Oh, and just in case we hadn’t gorged ourselves enough last night, we had to stop by my second favorite cafe in the city (we’ll talk about Philz Coffee later). Bittersweet. This is a store and cafe dedicated to chocolate. They have all kinds of drinking chocolate, specialty and gourmet cooking chocolate (they sell the bacon chocolate here), and yummy, yummy pastries and savory snacks. Plus the vibe is cool, the walls serve as gallery space for local artists, and the decor makes you just want to slow down, sip some drinking chocolate, and reflect on how lucky you are that this is your life.
Classic drinking chocolate for me. Cafe au lait for the chocolate hater.
These are crazy rich, basically a melted chocolate bar that is then steamed to get all frothy and amazing. In fact, the most accurate way to describe them is as a hot milkshake. Mmm, best had in winter whilst cafe-hopping with your favorite girl friend, lounging in the window seats holding conversations about shoes, boys, and all that effing psych homework.