'SF' on Serious Eats

A16, San Francisco

[Photographs: L.A. Pizza Maven] My summer pizza safari to San Francisco proved to be an unqualified success. No, I didn’t return home with the stuffed heads of pizza-makers, but I did bag two transcendent pie experiences. Tony Gemignani, of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach, served me an impeccable Margherita and sausage pie, the red, green and white colors swirling in an almost hallucinatory vision made doubly intense by the intoxicating aromas that nearly knocked me off the bar stool. The following afternoon I visited A16, the VPN-certified pizza restaurant in the Marina District that gained fame for its... More

That's That: Una Pizza Napoletana Is But a Memory as Mangieri Packs It in for SF

Manhattan Branch of Motorino Will Indeed Open in Its Place You won't have Anthony Mangieri to kick around anymore—at least not in New York City. The New York Times's Diner's Journal blog confirms the closing and sale to Motorino's Mathieu Palombino: "I want to make a change, man,” [Mangieri] said. “I’m almost 40. I’ve lived my life between New Jersey and this neighborhood. If I don’t do this now, then when?”“I’m excited,” he added, “but I’m scared.”He said he was also attracted by the California produce. Asked if that meant he might one day expand on the spartan lineup of... More

A Mini San Francisco Pizza Jaunt: Does Alan Richman Know His Bay Area Pizza?

"I would be happy eating a Delfina pizza every day of my life, but it probably would never make me jump for pizza joy." Pizzeria Delfina is Alan Richman's No. 3 U.S. pizzeria. Last week I took advantage of a quick-turnaround, 36-hour trip to San Francisco to try a couple of much-ballyhooed San Francisco pizzerias, Pizzeria Delfina and Gialina. San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer took me to Gialina (many thanks, Michael) and I took myself to Pizzeria Delfina because, well, because that's what I do--try pizzerias near and far. And much to Mr. Kuban's chagrin, Mr. Bauer blogged... More

Pizza in the Bay Area: Rising Like a Phoenix at Pizzeria Delfina

pizzeriadelfina.com For a city with a historic and world-renown Italian community (North Beach), San Francisco and the Bay Area has, until the last few years, been sorely lacking in great pizza. While there are several excellent Italian delis and restaurants like Molinari's, Lucca, and, my favorite restaurant when I lived in San Francisco in the '80s, Caffe Sport, no pizzaioli were creating memorable pies. Thankfully, that woeful state of culinary affairs has been remedied. One of a handful of great purveyors of pizza is Pizzeria Delfina. Opened by Craig and Ann Stoll on 18th Street in the Mission in... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Top Pizzaiola: Top Chef's Stephanie Izard makes a pizza at Spacca Napoli. [via MenuPages Chicago] Obama's Fave Pizza from SF: Little Star's deep-dish was inspiration for St. Louis pizzeria that served prez's pizza dinner. [SF Chronicle] First-Rate Tosser: Profile on a Florida dough-thrower. [Orlando Sentinel] CHI - Gino's North: Daniel Zemans and his crew hit one of the Windy City's cheesy institutions. [Chicago Pizza Club] NYC - Openings: New Carroll Gardens wine bar with wood-fired pizza. [Eater] Philly - Rumor: Is restaurateur Stephen Starr gearing up to open a pizzeria at 2nd and Lombard? [Foobooz via Illadelph] SF -... More

Bay Area Bites on Pizza Nostra, San Francisco

Bay Area Bites In San Francisco, Stephanie Im of Bay Area Bites checks in with a review of newcomer Pizza Nostra in Potrero Hill: The standout of the night that floored us and left us with that lusty, satiated, glow in our eyes was the Cannibal pizza. Topped with tomato, mozzarella, chunks of full-flavored ground beef, oregano...and crowned with a single egg cracked on top, baked to soft perfection so that the golden yolk spilled out in a lava of velvety richness. Brilliant. Yes. More please.This hussy of a pizza (and I mean that in the most complimentary way)... More

San Francisco Burritos at La Corneta

"Of course, I wanted to be all down with the people, so I asked for 'an ess-pess-cee-ahl burrito.'" The second burrito of my trip to San Francisco: A "baby burrito" with carnitas, black beans, cheese, and hot salsa. "Baby," which is about half the size of a standard, because I had already eaten lunch and still had to eat dinner. Essential SF Burrito Resource Burritoeater.com was a helpful resource on this trip. Though it ended up serving only as a wishlist, since I only got to visit one taqueria while in SF, Burritoeater at least assured me that the one I habitually visited was solid, with an "Overall Mustache Rating" of 8.13. I've been in San Francisco since last Saturday,... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 26: Portland and San Francisco, We Have a Problem

I'm writing this from a hotel room in San Francisco, where my wife and I are wrapping up a six-day working vacation that included stops in Portland, Oregon; Bolinas, California; and San Francisco. Yesterday you read about my visit to the awesome Apizza Scholls in Portland. In the coming days I'll be sharing the results of my nonstop food forays in Portland, which included stops at the extraordinary Portland Farmers Market; a fantastic brunch at a catering company's kitchen that opens its doors on Sunday for breakfast; a visit to a very fine sausage-maker in the shadows of my brother's alma mater, Reed College; an early morning visit to a rock-and-roll doughnut emporium; and what might have been the most... More

Market Scene: Early Summer, San Francisco and Portland

Sometimes, it takes being away from my hometown farmers market for a week or two to really appreciate the turn in season. I spent last week in Portland and visited the PSU Farmers Market, one of my favorite markets in the country. The PSU market was full of piles of porcini mushrooms, rhubarb and berries. The market vibe in Portland is like no other—a combination of completely relaxed mixed with a serious foodie vibe. I browsed through the market eating a Sol Pops paleta: cucumber, chile and lime-flavored. Returning to San Francisco this week, I noticed that our market had switched from spring into early summer. Gone are most signs of spring, replaced with an abundance of early summer... More

Cinco De Mayo: The Bay Area's Best Tacos and Burritos

Photograph from Rick on Flickr Bill Addison sampled nearly 300 tacos and 100 burritos in an incredibly cool ten week-long quest for the best that the Bay Area offers. Do click through to his story because and admire with me the meticulous and thorough way he went about this Pancho Villian–sized task. I also admire his intestinal fortitude (literally). His favorite was the relatively unheralded Sancho's in Redwood City. Here's what Addison had to say about it: Burritos and tacos are everything they should be at this diminutive storefront with expansion plans. Each element zings with freshness and quality. The bonus of well-made fish tacos, a rarity in the Bay Area, makes this a must-try. Super burrito: $6.55, Regular... More

Market Scene: Spring in San Francisco

I live in San Francisco, so let's be honest: it's not like I just survived through a long, hard winter. Not as long and hard as some of you have. Through the shortest days, we still have lettuces and citrus, year-round markets, and quite a variety of fruits and vegetables. But even the heartiest locavores among us get a little weary of butternut squash and stored apples and canned tomatoes. Enter Spring. More

Entrées, Plus Tip, Plus Tax, Plus ... Health Service Surcharge?

Food critics, such as Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle, are noticing that more restaurants are tacking on a surcharge to diners' final tabs to cover extra costs imposed by new programs that make all San Francisco businesses pay into a fund for universal healthcare. People understand what the prices were and instead of raising them, adding a service charge simply points out what's going on. [...] I would think that at some point in the near future, those will go away and the restaurants will simply reflect the increase in the cost of each item on the menu. [...] However, I understand the restaurants' dilemma. They want to provide benefits for employees, but they also want to remain... More

Do We Really Need Four-Star Restaurants?

When food critic Michael Bauer awarded four stars in the San Francisco Chronicle to the eponymous Michael Mina, many readers took offense at the very notion of eating in, enjoying, and writing about such a restaurant in these troubled times. Bauer aptly explained why he feels it's important to write about four-star restaurants now. I am not a fan of over-the-top decadent dining, but from Bauer's review I would hardly call Michael Mina an obscenely extravagant restaurant. In fact, Bauer's review made me want to jump on a plane and eat at Michael Mina tonight. Related: Does the World Need More Fancy-Pants French Restaurants?... More

In the Bay Area, Can Technique Trump Ingredients?

"Is San Francisco ready to embrace technique-based cooking?" the blog Gastronomie asks. "Ours has long been a culture of ingredient-driven food, and with good reason—just stop in at any farmers' market and you can see why. But in that process, we've effectively denied our restaurant kitchens the opportunity to develop and cultivate the use of creative techniques, styles, and flavors."... More

A Win-Win in San Francisco With Reduced Corkage Fees

There's now anecdotal evidence from at least one restaurant in San Francisco that reducing corkage fees (the charge a restaurant applies when you bring your own wine in) benefits not only diners but restaurateurs. Frank Klein at Fish & Farm charges $5 instead of the average $20 and has reported that about 40 percent of the tables taking advantage of the new policy also buy a bottle from the restaurant. Plus, they're bringing in some really interesting wines, Klein says.... More

The Beaujolais Is Coming: 'I'll Drink to That'

It's that time of year again—casks of Beaujolais Nouveau are wending their way towards eager drinkers. Fans of the youthful French vintage might want to check out a new book on the subject, I'll Drink to That: Beaujolais and the French Peasant Who Made It the World's Most Popular Wine. Author Rudolph Chelminski will be in Bay Area today and tomorrow, signing copies and discussing the upcoming release. Monday, November 12, 7 p.m. What: Talk and wine-tasting Where: Rakestraw, 409 Railroad Avenue, Danville CA 94526 (map) Tuesday, November 13th, 7:30 pm What: Reading and book signing Where: Books Inc., 2215 Chestnut Street, San Francisco CA 94123 (map)... More

The Boss of the Sauce Competition

Next Sunday, November 11, FIERI hosts The Boss of the Sauce Competition in San Francisco. It's the nation's largest tomato based pasta sauce competition. 31 restaurants from throughout the Bay Area are participating, and 20 food vendors will offer tastings of olive oil, wine, cheese, breads, etc. A $20 donation gets you in the door. Donations are tax deductible, benefiting the San Francisco Food Bank and FIERI (an Italian non-profit for students and young-adults interested in preserving Italian-American culture).... More

Chocolate Labs: Best in Show

Web-based food reporting outlet TasteTV is in the chocolate show business. Its first San Francisco Chocolate Salon over the summer awarded gold medals to chocolatiers such as L'Artisan du Chocolat, Poco Dolce, and Lillie Belle Farms, as well as chocolate-makers like Amano and Divine. (I'm happy with that lineup, but, then, I was one of the judges). The second TasteTV-sponsored event in San Francisco (called a "Single's Chocolate Salon") followed so quickly on the heels of the first that we missed it completely (it was last week). Luckily, TasteTV has a couple more West Coast events planned. In addition to a Los Angeles Chocolate Salon planned for December, TasteTV is hosting a kinky Halloween event called the Dark Dining Dinner... More

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