Monday, January 16, 2012

P is for: Pizza at A16 {Restaurant Review}

As you know, my friend Kasey was in town last week and we had a great time eating and drinking our way through the city. On her final night in San Francisco, we met up at another one of her favorite spots...A16 in the Marina.

This was my first trip to A16, and we had a great seat at the chef's counter and had a front row seat to see all of the pizza making magic.

Some of my friends who have lived here awhile say that A16 has gone downhill a little since they opened. I have nothing to compare it to, but it was some of the best pizza I've had in the city. Perhaps it's new executive chef David Taylor, who took over about a year ago and spent time in Naples becoming a certified Neapolitan pizzaiolo. That's some major credibility.

Before the pizza arrived, we had the burrata and the sardines. The burrata was simple but so creamy and perfect. It was simply drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and served with crostini, but I could've eaten five more of them. It definitely fell into the melt-in-your-mouth category. As for the sardines...well, they got better as I took more bites. It was served with shaved fennel, toasted pine nuts, golden raisins, and parsley. The first bite was VERY fishy, which is typical of sardines, but fortunately I kept eating and by the end of my piece I loved the sweet and salty flavor combination.

But as I mentioned, the star of the show is the pizza. We ordered the Salsiccia which came with housemade fennel sausage, rapini, grana padano, olive oil, and mozzarella. And the best part...we watched it transform from dough to perfectly crisp woodfired pizza while sitting at the chef's counter. And then we proceeded to inhale it in about five minutes flat.

Oh...and definitely don't miss the chile oil they place on the table. It's got some heat, but it's the perfect compliment to the delicious pizza.

And finally, if the carb loading with pizza and crostini wasn't enough...we said "when in Rome..." and got dessert too. I double dare you to find a better compliment to a sweet dessert than olive oil and sea salt. Just like my desserts at Gather and Zero Zero...I am obsessed with this flavor combo. This was a crispy chocolate budino tart...with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and chocolate mousse. Perfect end to a perfect weekend!

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