Before we moved to SF, pizza was food you got at 2am after the bars closed, when cooking sounded like too much work, or used to soak up beer while watching the football game. It always seemed to be the same; greasy, cheesy, and doughy (and usually pepperoni). Now we’re not knocking that type of pie, because it still holds a place in our hearts (mostly my arteries), but SF has introduced us to the wonders of artisanal pie making. Wood burning ovens, delightful topping combinations, fresh bubbling cheese, and slightly burnt but perfect crusts. Arguably one of the best in San Francisco is this week’s 100 review: Delfina Pizzeria and their Pizza Margherita. We decided to go to the Fillmore location due to convenience. It’s a small little joint, with a few tables outside, a small bar with seating, and a dozen or so tables. No reservations, but you write your name on the chalkboard to get your place in line. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere with a busy open kitchen and casually dressed waiters zooming around. Now I can describe more details, but we all know that you’re reading this to hear about the pizza, so I’ll skip the rambling.
Now Kristina got to try Delfina before me, so she definitely built up my expectations a bit. The Margherita comes out with the mozzarella still bubbling, looking like little islands in a sea of tomato sauce. The crust is perfectly singed with small, black blisters decorating the top. The basil adds a nice aroma, but is a little more scarce than I’d like. They provide fresh grated parmesan, chili flakes, but you should definitely ask for the Calabrian chili oil for some smoky spice. Delfina’s pizza is a thin crust, with puffy edges, but somehow doesn’t get to mushy in the middle. The first bite is awesome. For me, the blend of ingredients is perfect. The sauce isn’t to garlicky and is sweet but not overwhelmingly, the cheese provides a great salty balance, and of course the crust is the perfect canvas. For $13, it’s also a pretty great value for what can easily be shared with another. Definitely one of our best so far from The List and highly recommended.
I usually have to ask for extra basil with every Margherita Pizza I order, but not this one! Although this pizza is not covered in basil, there is such a strong essence of the herb in the sauce; I was very satisfied with my basil intake, and did NOT have to ask for an extra side. The crust is thin and crusty, but not so thin that all you get is crunch. When you take your first bite of the pizza, you get crunch, followed by a soft and steamy inside. They have really nailed the recipe for the tomato sauce, with perfecting the balance of sweetness, acidity, garlic and sweet Italian herbs. The cheese is not abundant, but that is quite alright with me. Not only is summer approaching rapidly (ladies!) but also, the distribution of ingredients and flavors are perfectly executed. Did I mention how fresh their ingredients are? Hands down, the best Margherita pizza I’ve ever had.
The Tuna Conserva
I was with a couple of my girlfriends when I first tried this salad, and quite frankly, by the sound of it alone, I would not have ordered it without my friends conviction. Try something new. It’s kind of like when you go clothes shopping (ladies), and the person helping you brings you a shirt that is completely NOT your style. You try it on, and think “damn, I look good! I really need to start branching out a little more often.” Same idea. Anyways, back to the salad – this dish is packed with flavor. You have the nice meatiness from the tuna, creaminess from the cannelloni beans, the sweet bitterness from the watercress and radicchio, and a perfect balance of zip and acidity from the oh so sour lemon dressing. Being a ‘texture person’*, this salad was right up my alley! I order it every time I go to Delfina. Take away lesson after having this salad: Step out of the box – Try something new.
*Texture person: one that feels nauseous when there is not enough texture in a food or dish, e.g., yogurt, too ripe of banana’s, creamy peanut butter. (Highly likely that you’ll hear me referring to textures the more you read on).
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