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November 23, 2013

Piccino Restaurant Review

This is a special restaurant review because it's for one of my all time, (if not my absolute) favorite restaurants in San Francisco. I recommend anyone visit it because they are a very seasonal restaurant, using produce that's in season, and they change the menu everyday. I'm including in this post all of the photos, so far, of the food I've had.

I think one of the great things about Piccino is that if you don't have reservations, they usually have a seat at their counter bar seats, which are right in front of the kitchen, so you can watch them making your food. I find the counter seats are usually where I want to be sitting. They have regular tables, but I find them to be a little too dark at night for photos!

Another great thing is that they have a smaller cafe, where you can order coffee, or pizzas and sandwiches to go. It's right next to the main restaurant, so you can pop in there to grab lunch to go. I want to mention that unless you're getting a dinner second course dish, most of these are too small on their own, and you'll want to get a few menu items to share. Even if you get pizza, get about one for each person unless you're getting a bunch of other menu items. We usually just go through the menu that day and pick 3-4 menu items we want and share everything. They're very good about bringing extra clean  plates for each course.


Pear, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad

They pretty much always have some form of this dish on the menu, it's burrata, polenta, arugala, and sea salt. Always delicious, a great dish to start with.

Here's the burrata dish in another form.

This was a salad topped with fried anchovies. It was very good, even if I couldn't get my boyfriend to try it!

This is the pork and beef polpette, or meatballs, with crushed tomatoes and parmesan. Same with this dish, they almost always have it on the menu, and I highly recommend it.

Sandwiches and Pasta:

This was a pasta dish I had that I can't for the life of me remember what all was in it, except a lot of lemon zest and some crunchy roasted flowers of some kind. Wonderful, all of their pasta is amazing.

This was a lunch item with toast, potatoes, pork I believe, and an egg. It was pretty good. I'd say the lunch sandwiches are the most hit or miss, but usually they're all still very good, just not as amazing and mind blowing as the dinner dishes.

Roasted brussel sprouts, always delicious.

I think of all the things I've had at Piccino, this was my least favorite, it was a pastrami sandwich. I still ate it all, it was just very messy and not my favorite.

This was a meatball sandwich of some kind with chipotle chips I believe. This was B's dish, and I couldn't stop stealing his chips, they were so good!

Tagliatelle, with broccolini I believe, and some red pepper flakes. You can never go wrong ordering pasta at Piccino.

Pizza: They also have a funghi pizza which is very popular with roasted mushrooms, we've never tried it because we don't really care for mushrooms, but it's supposed to be very good. Maybe one day I'll work up the adventurousness to try it.

Or pizza! Their pizza is always amazing, this was one of their seasonal pizzas with prosciutto and broccolini. Their seasonal pizzas are always worth trying, along with any of their main pizzas that are on the menu all the time.

Seasonal pizza, with squash and tomato, surprisingly delicious.

Summer time peach and pancetta pizza. Also surprisingly delicious, and an interesting combo.

This is one of their regular menu items, the bianca pizza. Worth getting, they also bring you red pepper flakes every time you order a pizza, which I love. The more spice the better!

Another shot of the bianca pizza. We order it a lot.


Chocolate cake of some kind with espresso ice cream. They have a lot of dessert dishes with ice cream, and I highly recommend any of them, their ice cream is very good and they usually have multiple flavors to chose from.

This was some dessert with grapefruit and raspberries, not my favorite.

Ice cream sandwich, I kept trying to steal this from B when he wasn't looking.

These are always on the menu, and very good, zeppole, and they have a different flavor dip for them for the seasons. Most recently was huckleberry I believe.

This was a ricotta cheesecake I believe, good, but also not my favorite.

They also have very good coffee, so if you're looking for an iced coffee at lunch, or an after dinner espresso, all are good. This is a Gibraltar, or a specialty espresso drink that was invented in San Francisco, with 2 shots of espresso and a little bit of milk. Very tasty.

I will also mention they have a wonderful wine selection, and they can help you pick a wine if you know nothing about wine, like me. If you're not having wine with your meal, you're usually in the minority here, but they never make you feel bad for just having water. I would recommend making reservations during the busy night hours, or weekend nights, especially if you have more than 2 people in your party. They can get very busy.

Piccino is located in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, south of the ballpark. This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city, even though it's still fairly industrial, it's easy to get to from my boyfriend's apartment, and there are some very good restaurants there. To get there by transit, you take the KT line Muni train southbound towards Sunnydale, and get off at the 20th or 23rd St stop. From either stop it's about a block and a half walk away. There is free street parking available but it's usually hard to snag a spot, so I suggest walking or taking the train. You can sometimes get a parking spot right in front of Piccino during lunch, but I've found it to be next to impossible during dinner.

If you can only go to one San Francisco restaurant, I highly recommend Piccino! I wouldn't say they have the best pizza, but the pizza along with all of their other menu items are very good, and made with good quality ingredients. If you sit at the counter, you can watch all your food being made. It's fairly inexpensive, you can probably get away from there during lunch for ~$50 if you're careful and only have 2 people, but with dessert and wine it can be over $100 for 2 people (including tax and tip). We try to go there as often as we can, and I've already made Valentine's dinner reservations there, because I didn't want to try anywhere new!

Located at: 1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA

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