I really think I need to stop trying the "most popular" SF restaurants. Went here on sat night, and what a disappointment. Every single thing we ordered was terrible starting with the smoked trout confit. It was completely dried out, extremely salty, and served with stale, tasteless crackers we could barely choke down. Next was a romaine salad with ricotta salata...also too salty and bland...I know...how do you make something too salty and bland at the same time...at this point...since we order a course at a time...we decided to split a pasta dish...also terrible...and I cannot even remember what it was. We were so disappointed in every dish we ordered at that point, we skipped entrees and dessert. I went home and finished a leftover veggie sandwich which provided more satisfaction than anything I had at Delfina. Its a shame because the staff is very nice.
The pizza joint is pretty good, but Ive had better.
I, too, ate at Delfina Saturday night and had a fabulous, memorable dinner. We started with the grilled calarmari appetizer, then the haricots verts w/hazelnuts, the tokyo turnips and rapini, the pasta w/duck giblets, and, finally, the pork entree w/farroto and figs. Each dish made us swoon with delight. The service was unbeatable. Each service person we encountered was genuinely upbeat, helpful and friendly. I also ran into the chef/owner outside when I tried to enter through the wrong door and he was a sweetheart. I loved the restaurant's ambience and the spartan decor. I felt that I was paying for a wonderful meal of beautifully and imaginatively prepared fresh ingredients and superb service rather than art on the walls and tablecloths. And, on a warm night, it was a wonderful setting with the windows and doors wide open to let the air in from outside. I couldn't have been happier with the experience.
I'm sorry you had a bad experience.
I had my first lackluster Delfina dinner two Saturdays ago - hopefully this is not the start of a trend. In sharp contrast to every other meal I've had there (I've been 6 or 7 times in the past year), our food was very unexciting. It was the first time I wasn't wowed by anything (except the panna cotta - good as ever!).
I think sticking to weeknight/off hours is key, as is ordering the 4th entree on the menu (which they were out of this past Saturday) - it's ever-changing, usually lamb/duck/pork, and has been the standout every time.