Sunday, October 23, 2011

D is for: Delfina, a tale of two dinners {Restaurant Review}

FOREVER, I've been wanting to go to DelfinaBut of course, whenever I have someone visiting, and by the time I remember to make a reservation, it's always too late to get into Delfina. It's that good. (And that popular).

So when I found out my mom was going to be in town for a couple of days, I decided this was a perfect opportunity to try my luck. She loves their sister restaurant, Pizzeria Delfina, so I was positive she would love the restaurant too. I clicked on their website...8:30PM. YES! A little late by mom standards (she lives in the Mountain time zone), but still not too bad.

I totally hyped it up to her. Probably a little too much. When we arrived, (after a day of shopping and wine tasting in Napa, mind you), they informed us they were running about 15 minutes behind. But to make up for it, they gave me a free glass of Prosecco. Immediately, I wasn't as bummed about the extra wait time.

But by the time we sat down and ordered, it was almost 9:00, which is 10:00 for my mom, and after a long day, we were both a little hungry. (OK, we were starving). The bread helped make up for this fact, but needless to say when our salads/appetizers arrived, we were ready to dive in.

I loved, loved, loved the fresh grilled calamari and white bean salad that I ordered. There was a fresh lemon taste that blended perfectly with the richness of the perfectly grilled calamari and creamy beans.

My mom got the Insalata di Campo, which was bitter greens, pancetta, shaved parmagiano, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. Well, they forgot the walnuts, and I don't think she was super pumped about the salad in general. (For the record, I had a bite and thought it was delicious).

For entrees, I ordered a house-made rosemary fettuccine with a traditional meat ragu. It didn't look like anything special on the plate, but I was in love with this pasta. The subtle taste of the rosemary in the pasta and the traditional bolognese sauce went together perfectly.

Again, it was a tale of two dinners. My mom got the pork belly with clams, chickpeas, and chard. She didn't exactly enjoy it. She wasn't aware pork belly was so fatty and overall, I think it just wasn't what she was expecting. The waitress was SO sweet. Offered to bring her something else, but my mom totally took responsibility for ordering the wrong thing and turned them down. Still, they sent over some soup to try and make ammends. last shot to impress mom. And...SUCCESS! Phew!

It was lime buttermilk panna cotta with huckleberries and it was seriously like heaven on a plate. My mom loved it. (Pretty much anything with huckleberries in it, and we're sold.)

And by the way...I just have to give my mom props for being such a good sport after a long day of brunch, shopping, wine tasting, and traffic. She even obliged when I insisted on taking photos of our food with my iPhone camera. (Yes, I was THAT girl. Don't worry, I turned the flash off, which is why the quality is lacking).

Long story short...I absolutely loved this place. My mom...not so much. Just goes to show everyone has different tastes. And not every highly acclaimed restaurant is for everyone. But I definitely will be back...just not with my mom.


  1. Jaymee- Delfina is so amazing. I, too, took my mom once, oversold it and it didn't live up to her expectIons, and it affected my experience. You have to go with a girlfriend to get the full effect. You must try the salt cod appetizer!

  2. Delfina has a special place in my heart - it was the last place in SF that I tried out for as a full time pastry chef, and chef Craig Stoll is one of the nicest people in the business. And, good to know that two stalwarts from the beginning (the grilled calamari on white beans and the buttermilk panna cotta) are still on the menu.

  3. Thanks Cameron and Robert. I will definitely be going back...what an amazing meal!


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