Text Size:-+
03.24.2004

Restaurant Review: Pizzetta, San Francisco

Recently, Ruth has been interested in finding some good Italian style thin-crust pizza in San Francisco, and so on a friend's recommendation we stopped by Pizzetta, a closet sized, super-cute little bistro out in the fog belt of the pizzetta.jpg Richmond District.

Actually we stopped by twice. The first time there were people lined up outside and there was a 60 minute wait! But what do you expect from a place that serves up mostly organic, incredibly savory, and utterly delicious pizzas and salads in a no-frills, friendly atmosphere?

On a warm day, Pizzetta can seat (by my rough estimate) about 30 people - 18 inside, and 12 outside. That includes five at the small little counter that faces the entirely open kitchen. Find any seat that you can, and then once you've looked over their brief menu, send a representative from your group up to the counter to order, and make sure to have them pick up silverware and napkins on their way back to the table. Then, relax for a few minutes and bask in the rustic-country-meets-art-deco interior of warm yellow walls and stained glass lamps while you wait. If you get bored looking at the decor, you can always watch whats going on in the kitchen, which apart from the giant pizza oven, might be the kitchen of some liberal arts college cooperative -- small, well stocked, and staffed with young Europeans who look like they spend their time outside the kitchen reading Kant and discussing post-structuralist critiques of modern society.

But before you can really decide if they are college students or simply cultivate the look, your food arrives. Maybe you've opted to get the artisanal cheese salad with organic radishes, country bread, and a couple of slabs of mild sheepsmilk cheese on a bed of organic greens; maybe you've just decided to order one of their weekly changing pizzas, and bask in the glory of fresh dough and amazing ingredients.

When we were there the menu included pizzas such as:

  • Rosie's Farm Egg, Baby Shitake, Crecenza, and Prosciutto
  • Baby Bloomsdale Spinach, Red Onion and Gorgonzola
  • Roasted Graffitti Cauliflower, Meyer Lemon, and Pine Nuts
  • Rosemary, Fiore Sardo Sheep Cheese and Pine Nuts

    Or you can opt for a more mainstream pizza like Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil. The menu also offers a daily special side dish (when we went it was roasted organic asparagus in a vinaigrette sauce) as well as a calzone, a couple of salads, and a cheese board.

    The pizzas are delivered right out of the oven to you (lets face it, they only have to travel about 20 feet to get to your table) and they represent all that is good about Italian style pizza. Light, crispy dough, fresh, juicy, sweet tomato sauces, or savory herbs and cheese. The real test for me in any pizza is whether I am compelled to eat the crust, and let me tell you, there was not a crumb left after either of the pizzas we ordered (each is big enough to feed about one person). This was a striking difference from Pauline's on Valencia, where Ruth and I went the week before, where the crust was leaden and dry, and by the end of the meal we had a sad looking pile of breadstick-like-things on the tray.

    Pizzetta is a restaurant where its better to bring your own wine if you'd like to drink with dinner. They offer 4 or 5 bottles of wine, including a Prosecco if you're looking for something bubbly, all reasonably priced and most of them Italian. All are available by the glass as well. However, with a corkage fee of only $10 why not bust out that Barbaresco you've been saving, or stop by Wine Impression on California Ave. on your way out to the Richmond and get a nice California Sangiovese to have with dinner?

    The folks that staff this little hole-in-the-wall are friendly, but it tends to be a bit of a madhouse unless you're there in off hours (see below), so be prepared for mostly a serve yourself environment. But its entirely worth it for the best pizza I've had in San Francisco without breaking the bank.

    Oh yeah -- two other little additions: they serve my favorite Italian fizzy water (San Benedetto - green) and they make daily fresh desserts. We had a choice between a Sharfenberger flourless chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream or a blood orange upside down cake.

    How Much?: Two pizzas, a salad, dessert and coffee (no wine) ran us about $50.

    Pizzetta
    211 23rd Avenue (between California and Clement)
    San Francisco, CA 94121
    415.379.9880

    No reservations accepted. Parking can be tough in that area, especially on Thurs, Fri, and Saturday nights.

    Open Wednesday - Friday 5PM - 9PM, Saturday and Sunday 12PM - 9PM. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

    I recommend going for an early dinner, as the place gets totally packed later in the evening.

  • Rosie's Farm Egg, Baby Shitake, Crecenza, and Prosciutto\n
  • Baby Bloomsdale Spinach, Red Onion and Gorgonzola\n
  • Roasted Graffitti Cauliflower, Meyer Lemon, and Pine Nuts\n
  • Rosemary, Fiore Sardo Sheep Cheese and Pine Nuts\n\nOr you can opt for a more mainstream pizza like Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil. The menu also offers a daily special side dish (when we went it was roasted organic asparagus in a vinaigrette sauce) as well as a calzone, a couple of salads, and a cheese board.\n\nThe pizzas are delivered right out of the oven to you (lets face it, they only have to travel about 20 feet to get to your table) and they represent all that is good about Italian style pizza. Light, crispy dough, fresh, juicy, sweet tomato sauces, or savory herbs and cheese. The real test for me in any pizza is whether I am compelled to eat the crust, and let me tell you, there was not a crumb left after either of the pizzas we ordered (each is big enough to feed about one person). This was a striking difference from Pauline's on Valencia, where Ruth and I went the week before, where the crust was leaden and dry, and by the end of the meal we had a sad looking pile of breadstick-like-things on the tray.\n\nPizzetta is a restaurant where its better to bring your own wine if you'd like to drink with dinner. They offer 4 or 5 bottles of wine, including a Prosecco if you're looking for something bubbly, all reasonably priced and most of them Italian. All are available by the glass as well. However, with a corkage fee of only \$10 why not bust out that Barbaresco you've been saving, or stop by Wine Impression on California Ave. on your way out to the Richmond and get a nice California Sangiovese to have with dinner?\n\nThe folks that staff this little hole-in-the-wall are friendly, but it tends to be a bit of a madhouse unless you're there in off hours (see below), so be prepared for mostly a serve yourself environment. But its entirely worth it for the best pizza I've had in San Francisco without breaking the bank.\n\nOh yeah -- two other little additions: they serve my favorite Italian fizzy water (San Benedetto - green) and they make daily fresh desserts. We had a choice between a Sharfenberger flourless chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream or a blood orange upside down cake.\n\nHow Much?: Two pizzas, a salad, dessert and coffee (no wine) ran us about \$50.\n\nPizzetta\n211 23rd Avenue (between California and Clement)\nSan Francisco, CA 94121\n415.379.9880\n\nNo reservations accepted. Parking can be tough in that area, especially on Thurs, Fri, and Saturday nights.\n\nOpen Wednesday - Friday 5PM - 9PM, Saturday and Sunday 12PM - 9PM. Closed Monday and Tuesday.\n\nI recommend going for an early dinner, as the place gets totally packed later in the evening.
  • Buy My Book!

    small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

    Follow Me On:

    Twitter Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

    Most Recent Entries

    Wine and Beauty Explained San Francisco's Lost Sommeliers Finding Pirate Treasure With a Corkscrew Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 1, 2015 Vinography Images: Sonoma Spring Siduri Wines: Rewarding the Search for Flavor Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 22, 2015 Vinography Images: Frost and Fog The Glory of 2013 Napa Cabernet: Tasting Premiere Napa Valley A Dose of Claret: Visiting With 2010 Bordeaux

    Favorite Posts From the Archives

    Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

    Archives by Month

     

    Required Reading for Wine Lovers

    The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud