Food & Drink

The choicest pizzas and pastas in the land

Published On 05/11/2009 Published On 05/11/2009

Any legitimate denomination, creed, or cult is held together by a fundamental set of ideals, from the five pillars of Islam (profession of faith, pilgrimage to Mecca, etc), to the two pillars of Heaven's Gate (mass suicide and Nikes). Piously observing the ideals of Italian face-stuffing, Flour + Water

From four Mission dwellers, including an ex-La Folie/Gary Danko chef and an ex-Postrio/Plouf restauranteur, F+W's a rustic-yet-slick (reclaimed redwood interiors, a solid walnut communal table, etc) homage to the "four pillars...of old world and authentic" Italian grub: pizza, pasta, salumi, vino, which they didn't name the place, due to how expensive it would have made it to send telegrams. The first stanchion's Neapolitan 'za, cooked for no longer than two minutes at a balmy 800 degrees in F+W's wood-burning oven; winners include the pancetta/egg/potato Uovo, the Biancoverde (ricotta/parm/mozzarella, asparagus, watercress), and the Carciofi, w/ artichokes, pecorino, & capers, who finally gave up on bagels because lox smoked so much. Pillar two's pasta, hand-rolled daily and served up with whatever's market-fresh, exemplified by the coin-shaped corzetti stampati w/ braised Monterey squid & fava beans, and the bucatini with tomato/onion/chiles & guanciale, aka salty cheek bacon -- also Dizzy Gillespie's long-forgotten Waffle House jingle

Covering sacred tenet number three, salumi's all made in-house and'll include salt-cured, fermented, and smoked varieties depending on the day. And rounding out F+W's core virtues, there's a predominantly Italian wine list of 30 reds/30 whites, all priced in that sweet spot between $30 and $60 -- leaving you plenty of scratch to spend on bunk beds, Nikes, and mad phenobarbital.

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1. Flour + Water 2401 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

The pizza and pasta at Thomas McNaughton's Mission gem has consistently attracted a full house since opening in 2009. The Neapolitan-style pies are nothing short of excellent, and though the flavors change daily, you can expect a classic Margherita and meatier pizzas like salumi with Mangalitsa pancetta, stracciatella, broccoli rabe & Calabrian chili. And then there's the pasta. In a perfect world, you'd try each one on the menu and luckily, Flour + Water has a pasta tasting menu.



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