Pizzetta 211 Restaurant Review written by Culinary Guide, Corinne Sykes
My quest for the best San Francisco Bay Area pizza continues all the way to the far lands of the Outer Richmond. If you’re even close to that neck of the woods, take advantage and head to Pizzetta 211. And if you don’t live close, plan a trek because it’s well worth it.
The Place: Extremely cozy (read: tiny) nestled on a quiet residential street with the most beautiful, craggy tree strung with lights and bells. A pizza oasis, like a glowing beacon of warmth in the blustery mundane path. With only 4 inside tables, expect to wait under the umbrage of the tree.
The Drinks: We started of to a shaky start with the wine. Seeking an earthy red to stand up to our pie, all three by the glass reds fell short. But a quick staff huddle and consult produced a fabulous bottle recommendation that indeed whet the whistle. The Clos Nouveau Cabernet Franc (Loire) hit that earthy, tobacco place we were looking for. Side by side with the San Marzano tomato sauce it was a delightful attack on the palate spicey, earthy, funky notes flying from every direction. Lush and indulgent and the opposite of delicate or subtle just the way I like. Go big or go home, pizza.
The Dishes: Which brings me to the pies. Oh the pies. Whatever you do, make sure you order the San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Mascarpone, Wild Arugula pie. If you like a red sauce pie, this will knock you on the floor and leave you begging for more. In fact, we did. Hours into dinner, already a whole pie per person in, we ordered ANOTHER San Marzano we just couldn’t help ourselves. If I could have only one tomato sauce for the rest of my life, this would be it. And fear not this pie includes classic mozzarella as well, despite it’s absence from the menu listing. Destined to be underrated next to the San Marzano, the Farm Egg, Shiitake Mushroom, English Peas, Truffled Pecorino was quite lovely. It’s not a pie I’ll dream about, but it was well constructed and delicious, highlighting the seasonal English peas and with two generous, bright orange yolked eggs atop.
Key ingredients: San Marzano Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Arugula, English Peas, Farm Egg
Other Menu Musts: Save room for the Flourless Chocolate Cake if you can manage. Or just skip the appetizers and dessert and go all in for 3 San Marzano pies. A pleasant surprise Blue Bottle espresso awaits you at the finish line, and reasonably priced, and ready to combat your food coma for your long trek home from the Outer Richmond.
Little Known Fact: If you use the restroom, look up! A most adorable tiny puppet theater-esque 4×5 stage hangs demurely in the corner above the throne. Complete with mini red velvet curtains, the miniature proscenium houses a looping video of what one can only assume is Italy. Meanwhile anything from bluegrass to pop to traditional folk might accompany the scene.
Insider Secret: Head over on a Monday for shorter dinner wait time. Get in just before dusk to watch the tree out front come alive with beautiful string lights in it’s twisted limbs. Take out is available, but I’d advise against it unless you live less than 5 minutes away. The pizza enjoyment factor goes way down. Wait for a table and eat fresh pizza, it’s worth it you’ve come this far.
The Details: San Marzano pie: $15.50; Farm Egg, English Peas pie: $17.50; Flourless
Chocolate Cake: $6.50, Blue Bottle Espresso: $2.50; Clos Nouveau Cabernet Franc: $58/bottle
Restaurant Name: Pizzetta 211
Address: 211 23rd Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: (415) 3799880
Hours: Wed, Fri, Mon: “noonish”-2:30pm, 5-9pm. Sat, Sun: “noonish” - 9pm.