My idea of a good vacation is one in which you eat well. Luckily I’m marrying a woman who feels the same way! Everything we ate in San Francisco, was so good. (In addition to Flour + Water which I discuss below, we also had a great dinner at Town Hall, a yummy breakfast at Blue Bottle Coffee – which Jami proclaims has the best coffee in San Francisco, a surprisingly good lunch at the cafe at SF MOMA, excellent pastries at Boulange and quite a few yummy snacks at the shops in the Ferry Building – plus some great Asian Pears from the farmer’s market outside.)
Dinner at Flour + Water was our first meal in San Francisco and we couldn’t have had a better welcome. We read about the restaurant in the Washington Post about a month before we were heading West and thought it sounded like a place we’d like. Even at the month-out point, we could only get a reservation for 5:45! This is a popular place. Luckily 5:45 was the perfect time for dinner for two tired East Coast travelers whose last meal had been at an airport at 11 AM.
The restaurant serves Italian food, focused on pizza and pasta (two things made, onsite, with Flour and Water). We started off with a veggie pizza, not noticing until it arrived that we had selected the vegan option. It was great. I didn’t even miss the cheese (which is saying a lot for me!), and then split two pasta entrees. On was agnolotti stuff with pork and one was pappardelle with braised pork shoulder. I started out with the agnolotti, and Jami with the papparedelle, but we each decided we liked the others better. Jami described the agnolotti as meatballs in a little pasta envelope, wrapped up like a present. I thought the pasta sauce on the pappardelle tasted like gravy, but in an amazing meat-infused, lucious way – and I don’t even really like gravy. They were transcendent. We ended the evening with a slice of chestnut cake with brown butter ice cream (what? we hadn’t eaten in a long time and we were both starving!). The ice cream was made by Humphry Slocombe, an ice cream shop I had read about in Food & Wine magazine a few months before and it was so, so good. I am only sad that I didn’t track the shop down on my solo day in the city and eat more.
The service was good (it was Halloween and the staff was all in costume, which was fun. Our waitress was a pirate) – at a much slower pace than is standard in DC (this was true everywhere we went), which turned out to be a really good thing. It gave us time to really enjoy our food and digest a little between courses. Of all the meals I ate in San Francisco, this one was definitely my favorite. (And really not too expensive – we had all that food, plus a class of wine each for about $100). If you are ever in the Bay Area, I would highly recommend this restaurant.