Saturday, April 02, 2011

Delfina, Delfina – San Francisco

Some restaurants, modest though they seem, are just about perfect. Their humility hides their brio. In San Francisco I can think of no better example than Delfina, a lovely, sunny, airy Italianate restaurant set in the somewhat scruffy Mission District. There is little showy about the space, although it is pleasing and airy, but the plates are modestly priced show-stoppers.

I ordered Warm Ceringola Olives, meaty, green nuggets swimming in rustic olive oil, served with warm crusty bread (perhaps baked by the iconic Tartine Bakery next door?). Tonight San Francisco revealed its Mediterranean climate which these olives matched degree for degree.

Delfina - San Francisco - March 2011 - Warm Ceringola Olives

The olives were followed by a creamy cauliflower soup with paprika oil drizzled on top and cumin-scented croutons. The soup was redolent of flowerets, but needed the kick that the paprika and cumin provided. It was an exceptionally pretty bowl.

Delfina - San Francisco - March 2011 - Cauliflower Soup With Paprika Oil and Cumin Croutons

Delfina’s Hay and Straw Tagliarini with English Peas, Pecorino, Raw Egg Yolk, and a touch of Pancetta (or its moral equivalent) was as lush as one might imagine a spring plate could be. The green and white pasta was nettles and spinach (?). The richness of the cheese, cream, and egg played perfectly with the peas, creating a modernist carbonara.

Delfina - San Francisco - March 2011 - Hay and Straw Tagliarini with English Peas and Egg Yolk

They also serve a superior Blood Orange Prosecco.

All in all, a splendid moderately priced spring meal. Bravo.

3621 18th St
San Francisco, California 94110
(415) 552-4055

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