Flour + Water = hot, hot, hot
- BernalKC May 21, 2009 09:48 PM
Tried to go to Flour + Water tonight. At 8:00 the wait was 1:30. Too much for mi familia. The report from Beer & Nosh looks soooo goood. Anyone lucky or patient enough to tell me what I missed?
I went on Friday - opening night. We were pretty bummed that they reserved all the tables for friends and family - only bar seating and communal table available. As for the food - uovo pizza was fantastic, fried smelt pretty good, sweet pea and ricotta tortelli pretty bland.
The pork cheeks looked fantastic and will be mine next time! Well, that and another pizza of course.
We went last Friday as well and sat at the bar. Everything was good, but the pasta was amazing. We'll be back to try more of them this weekend.
flour + water is a new Italian restaurant in the Mission district of San Francisco. They focus on hand rolled pastas, house cured meats, and an Italian pizza oven. The chef is a vetran of La Folie, Danko, Quince.
Decor, Vibe - Narrow, long room with refurbished, repurposed and reclaimed wood, and a lot of it exposed. People lined up before the place opened. A fair amount of couples, bigger parties, locals, with most casually dressed folks in the 30’s and 40’s.
shaved asparagus ($10) and arugula salad with a pancetta-caper vinagrette was a very good salad. The vinagrette was strong enough to cover up a lot of the green’s intrinsic flavor. Nice cheese and bacon accents. A bunch of olives too.
braised pork cheek ($18) with borlotti beans and erbette chard had good amounts of tender braised pork on top of a bed of beans with a slight bit of chard. Flavors on the pork could have been more agressive.
margherita pizza ($12) tomato, basil, fior di latte, extra virgin olive oil was slightly above average. The middle was soggy, the crust very thin. Flavors were decent but the cheese did not stand out. Several burned areas on the crust.
corzetti stampati pasta ($16) with braised monterey squid and fava beans was very al dente. Could have used a lot more egg based thin pasta. The squid out numbered the pasta. Sauce was slightly spicy. A squid ink pasta we had at A16 was far better.
maltagliati pasta ($15) with brown butter braised giblets and ramps (onions) was also very al dente, more so that most places. The quantity of pasta was also pretty low. Flavors were ok.
flour + water had slightly above average service that was competent but not exceptional. Server did her job but not with a lot of enthusiasm. The cooks did botch a dish but did not offer anything other than a sorry. Our sense is this is a neighborhood place, not a destination restaurant. The food is fair, not exceptional. Pasta quantities are very skimpy. Delfina is not far away and a lot better.
Moderate wine markup, small selection. Glasses of wine from $6.50, bottles from $26.
Full review with pics:
Was there last Thursday (5/21) and enjoyed it. The three of us shared the margherita pizza with the buffala mozzeralla, and also had the carciofi pizza (artichokes and new onions, pecorino and capers) and added a fried egg to it. Lastly we got the chicken.
I enjoyed the margherita pizza a lot more than foodnut. Perhaps due to the buffala cheese. The sauce was flavorful and a nice mix of herbs in it. The pizza is thin crust style but it held up nicely without being too strong, just the right amount of give. The only thing I would change would be to add more basil (there were only 4 pieces but 6 slices) as it was chintzy to have so little.
The runny egg melded nicely with the artichoke pizza as well. Perhaps a tad too may onions but the crust was nice and crisp while still having a good chew to it.
Chicken was tasty and had a little kick due to red peppers (more spicy than I thought it would be - a good thing, but should be noted on the menu).
The cornmeal cake dessert was a nice way to end the meal.
They only began taking reservations on Friday. A good spot, what I would call neighborhood plus.
We shared a nice white wine that was $26 - perfect for what it was. This is not the kind of place I'd go for a special bottle....
Service just ok, they are still working out the kinks. I'll go back when the thrillist, eater etc buzz dies down.
Went again last night without a reservation and sat at the bar. Had the frito misto and two pastas, one a tortelli (tortellini?) with mortadella and peas that was a standout. Service at the bar was excellent with good wine suggestions.
We went to F&W this evening. The Funghi pizza was amazing -- rich mushroom flavors, a zesty tomato sauce and an excellent thin crust (the wood fired oven makes a difference). The asparagus and pea soup was also heavenly. I liked the squash and duck proscuitto salad but there was either not enough duck or it lacked punch because it got a bit overwhelmed. The cherry tart was nice for dessert but the crust was a bit crunchy and sweet for my taste. Overall, the food was very good to excellent.
Service was friendly, helpful, attentive and well-informed. The only problem was the the kitchen was moving the food out much too quck even for a casual place. I really like to finish one course before the next arrives. This may just be a matter of servers and the kitchen getting in synch.
I very much like the atmosphere. The wood tones are very pleasing and relaxing. The noise level is loud but not overhwelming. There is energy in the room but it doesn't get too edgy.
Once it gets over its early jitters, F&W will definitely rank with Bar Bambino, Delfina and Beretta. It is definitely is better than Farina and makes Spechio look like a joke.
i dined there last night as well. arrived at 5:30pm, and there were 8 of us standing outside waiting for the doors to open! crazy. i agree with the above poster -- the only thing i was minorly irritated with was their bringing out our pasta dishes when we were only halfway through our appetizer. i thought it was a fluke, but i guess it was happening to other people also. so, pasta was a little cold by the time i wanted to eat it.
we had the asparagus, arugula, and quail egg salad -- really good. aside from a piece of asparagus that i ate that i tried and tried to chew up and swallow but ultimately had to spit out (i know, that is so disgusting, sorry!) -- i think they left in a part of the asparagus that you're supposed to shave off/discard b/c it's nondigestible. but i got over that pretty quickly because it was otherwise very good, with a nice balance of favors, perfectly dressed. the quail eggs were sort of "soft-poached," which i really liked.
we had 2 pastas--i had the corzetti stampati with braised squid. the pasta was a really nice texture, toothsome, nicely al dente. they may have changed their proportion of squid to pasta, because i thought there was enough pasta for the amount of sauce and squid. i liked this dish. my friend had the gargagnelli with speck and fava beans, which i had one bite of it and thought it tasted like an upscale, lighter spin on fettucine carbonara. i don't love creamy pastas, which this kind of was, but she seemed to really like it.
olive oil cornmeal cake for dessert - very good. more moist than i'm used to -- i think when i've had it at other places, it's usually more crumbly. but this was very good, nicely paired with a unique strawberry and fennel salad.
had a sardinian white by the glass that was very nice and minerally. a primitivo by the glass was too fruity for me, but i was warned when i ordered it.
overall, i think it was very good, met my expectations. i would go back to try the pizzas, and i would go back for the pasta, but only when the craziness dies down.
Went to Flour + Water last night, and had a mostly great meal.
To start, we had the marinated sardines with gypsy peppers and the fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta and proscuitto. The blossoms were fried perfectly, the filling was delicious, and the paper thin slices of zucchini underneath were excellent, and such a great use of an often boring vegetable. The sardines were really meaty and big, and the peppers worked really well with them.
We then shared the uovo pizza (guanciale, mozzerella, egg) and the maltagliati pasta with a giblet ragu and fava beans (it said peas on the menu, though). Both were pretty good, though we both agreed that the pizza crust was undersalted.
For dessert we had the chocolate budino with sea salt and an espresso caramel creme, and that was incredible. The waitress told us when we ordered that she thought it was the best thing on the whole menu, and it was definitely our favorite of all of the dishes. Really great chocolate, with the perfect amount of salt, and the creme tied it all together (and I would love to know how they make it).
All in all, a meal with some highs (the appetizers and desserts, especially), and no real lows, although I didn't love either the pizza or pasta. If I lived in the neighborhood, I'd definitely go back more often, especially for the nice bar. The service was very welcoming and friendly, and the servers were good at explaining menu items.
Ate here for the first time last night and it was a great restaurant. I have to say though, everyone raves about the pizza, and I thought it was good but not perfect. (I like Pizzeria Delfina slightly better.) We got the biancoverde pizza with wild arugula on top and squash slices with squash blossoms. It was very pretty and had a squirt of citrus as a finisher so it really smelled great coming to the table. Also spotted with ricotta cheese. The taste was fantastic, the ingredients were great, and it was a nice size to share. But while the crust tasted nicely salted, it was a bit soggy in the center already for all the juices and even the puffy edges (burnst slightly from the woodfire, natch!) were a bit chewy. So overall it was nice but not amazing.
What is amazing is the pasta! All the options looked great but we got the special of the night which was a capelletti (sp?). They looked like won tons when they arrived on a bed of sweet corn puree. What was amazing about it was the texture of the pasta was perfect and the filling was this excellent cheese that had a fresh milk flavor that was slightly sweet. Everything about it was just so perfect, I was amazed.
We also had the peach salad with saba that was nice for the season, and I ate the lamb which was good but pretty standard for restaurant cooked lamb (came with figs which I was surprised since I thought fig season starts later in the year).
We finished with the popular chocolate budino. It was really good and I loved the sea salt on top, but the chocolate creme is more dense than what I thought it would be. I expected more a custard texture because the waitress described it as a pot de creme but it was more thick like a decadent chocolate flourless cake. Still it was really good with the big scoop of coffee flavored whipped creme on top.
It was a really enjoyable dinner. The waitress was super friendly and helpful with suggestions. We had reservations on the early side so the restaurant was kind of empty when we ate around 6 p.m. (this is a Tuesday night) but it did start to get crowded by the time we left after 7 p.m. Although there were still a few tables empty. The bar and communal table definitely was packed when we left and that area looked like a fun place to hangout.
It's far out for me to go here often, but I would go pretty often if I lived in the neighborhood because of the pasta (not so much the pizza, although pizza options are great for kids and saw several families there). I liked the cozy warm wood look and the service was great!
I'm right down the street and there seems to be a pretty consistent 7/8pm crush. If you are looking for an earlier dinner some night, we've had no trouble getting bar or shared table spots any time before 7. Tables are a little harder to come by by can be had earlier in the evening or by reservation.
We especially love the shaved asparagus salad with poached quail eggs, the margarita pizza with burrata, and the chocolate budino. The hubby and I disagree on other pizza favs. I am very much looking forward to the pork cheeks next time.