Being on the edge of the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco I've managed to eat at most of places down there. One place I finally got around to trying is Piccino.
A cute welcoming place with lots of blond wood, it's gotten tons of press since it opened a while back and though I may not be able to add anything new to the mixture of raves heaped upon the place, I figured I'd still give it my best shot. The menu is short and focused, again with the whole local/sustainable thing, which in this case works fine for me and I don't feel overwhelmed with choices. I've got the SO along to share with so we are going the full bore prime, secondi, pizza and dessert.
Up first is a small plate of asparagus, burrata (that's a creamy mozzarella), heirloom polenta, watercress (the twiggy green leafy thing) and dressed in a salsa verde. Two things came to mind after my first bite, fresh and green. The asparagus was cooked just right with still a hint of crunch to go along with the watercress. The polenta was warm and grilled on the outside letting the burrate melt just a tad. The salsa verde was like a light vinaigrette that added a touch of flavor but didn't outshine the other items on the plate. You might not think of putting these things together but they really work here and we both loved it.
Second up was the pork and beef polpette (small meatballs) in crushed tomatoes, olive oil and parmesan. This was a hot steaming bowl of Italian goodness. The SO only sort of liked them but I really liked them. My one drawback was that they were very moist and tender and did come apart a little too easily but the mix of pork and beef was tasty and seasoned just right. Tomatoes had a nice ripe crispness to them and I liked the extra flavor of the olive oil. I looked past the falling apart just because they were so tasty.
Next up was the funghi pizza with roasted mushroom, stracchino (a type of cow's milk cheese) and shaved garlic. Earthy is the flavor of the day here and I mean that in a good way. I like mushrooms and this pizza was chock full of them. It was also the thin traditional Italian crust that I'm also fond of. Light, crisp, delicious. You can see the large pieces of garlic on top, but they were not overwhelming they were just enough to give it a little extra zing. If you are going here--get one of the pizzas, it's well worth it. Then, as if we weren't full enough, we went for it and got dessert.
Warm cinnamon apple cake, candied walnuts, mascarpone ice cream and a caramel drizzle along with an ice cream sandwich made of chocolate cookies, chocolate gelato and shaved coconut. The cake was moist and very cinnamon-y, could have used a little more of the caramel sauce. I actually liked the mascarpone ice cream, it had a creamy velvety texture and like the cake was not overly sweet. It was a good dessert, not great but a decent meal ender. The ice cream sandwich was a chocolate lovers dream. I really liked the cookie part of it, the SO just liked all of it. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, I'm not sure what more I can say about it. Very good and another good ending to a pretty spectacular meal.
I'm pretty sure I echo most everyone else who has been to Piccino when I say you must go and try it. The food is fresh, tasty and done very well. If you don't believe me, make a reservation (it's a must) and go and try for yourself.