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Jul 28, 2009 01:06 PM

Arancini: savoury balls of goodness in the City?

I was reading a report on the arancini at Adesso in Oakland and wondered if anyone had a preferred spot for these Sicilian treats in SF proper. Much obliged.

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  1. Mixed reports for U.S. Restaurant over last few years. Shack on or some gout.

    1 Reply
    1. Bar Bambino, Cinecitta, District. SPQR, when they have them.

      1. I had a fabulous (don't know if it was traditional or not) one at 54 mint a couple of weeks ago. Squid ink. it was a big square instead of a small circle but quite tasty.

        1. There used to be a deli in North Beach called Palermo Deli that had great ones - traditional Sicilian just like at the Palermo train station. The deli is now called La Spiaggia, I think. I don't know if it's the same ownership or if they have the arancini any more, but if you want one to take away and eat in Washington Square Park, it might be worth a visit (that's what I used to do).

          1. Pizzeria Delfina on California/Fillmore has them sometimes. I believe Melanie Wong wrote about it not too long ago. They are really delicious.

            6 Replies
            1. re: meggie t

              I had them at Pizzeria Delfina on 18th Street and they were delicious. I just looked at the menu and I don't see them so they might go on and off the menu. I have also had them at Ducca - the restaurant at the Westin on 3rd Street - but Delfina's version was better.

              1. re: Mari

                They rotate as part of the daily fritti special. I agree; they're fabulous.

              2. re: meggie t

                I have had them at Pizzeria Delfina also. They are tasty, but tiny, one or two bites each and an appetizer portion is 5 or 6.

                Earlier this year at an Italian restaurant in suburban Boston I had baseball size arancini appetizer that was just excellent. I would love to find something like that here. Very crisp exterior with a thick layer of rice surrounding a meat and cheese filling, served on a puddle of marinara.

                1. re: pamf

                  Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. I am going to have an image in my mind of arancini rotating for quite some time thanks to mrs bacon :-).

                  I must admit I would love to find ones similar to those described by pamf as that is how they were served in Sicily (minus the marinara) when we scarfed many on the move (we always got them as street food). Sometimes they were conically shaped which I think had to do with differing fillings. I have not seen them in that size and configuration here and thought perhaps yes in SF...

                  1. re: grayelf

                    That's how the Palermo Deli ones were. You might check with the new deli that's taken its place to see.

                  2. re: pamf

                    Sorry if it is bad form to reply to my own post, but I had a new version of Arancini at Delfina (California and Fillmore location)

                    It's now on the menu as a special as "Arancini with Oxtail"

                    They are somewhat larger than before. They come 4 to the order for $7

                    They were just delicious. The risotto was creamy and cheesy , each bite had some shredded oxtail meat embedded in it.

                    I might still like a bit of marinara sauce for dipping, but these were great as they were.

                    Delfina Restaurant
                    3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110