Capo's - SF - Tony Gemignani does Chicago-style
Inside Scoop has the menu. Deep-dish, stuffed, "cast iron pan," and "cracker-thin," plus 20 a day of a "quattro forni" cooked in four different ovens. Full bar. Cash only.
641 Vallejo, opening this month.
Went last night. No reservations, sat at the bar to wait but barely had time to order a drink before we got a table.
Clams casino was a good lightened-up modern version, scorching hot roasted clams with just a pinch of the breadcrumb-bacon-Romano mixture in each.
Baked conchiglie with Dungeness crab and shrimp in tomato cream sauce was very good, the dish looked like it was going to be a huge amount of heavy pasta but the shells had a lot of air in them so it was a reasonable portion for two. Had to divvy up some big chunks of crab that all ended up on one plate.
Old Chicago deep dish reminded me of the pie I had at Uno's in Chicago 20 years ago, probably less cornmeal in the crust. Good but huge, 12" pie almost two inches thick sliced in six wedges, one slice was plenty, the second was pure gluttony. Took half home.
Worthy contender, personally I prefer Little Star's but people who think that's too oily or cornmealy might prefer Capo's. I forgot to ask about the cast-iron pan, the server said the two deep-dish pies were the deep-dish and stuffed, and that the Quattro Forni was thick crust.
Too full for dessert. Unti Vermentino on tap was very nice.
re: Robert Lauriston
I've only been once but will return. The bar is a big plus- rye whiskey served properly with a single ice cube.
We ordered the deep dish Old Chicago as well. The sauce and cheese overflowed the crust a bit much,but it didn't hinder me from eating several slices. Service at the bar is a little awkward as you must stand up to pull slices cleanly from the stand and, as I said, the cheese sauce and toppings overflow the crust such that one must be deft.
Personally, Little Star is #1 due to quality of ingredients and structural integrity of the pie, with revisits to Paxti's and Capo's due. I speak only of deep dish; both Capo's and Paxti's have stuffed, and I've had neither.
I guess that's four revisits due. Poor me.
re: Robert Lauriston
Went over the weekend with a group of 6. Had a 7:30 reservation but they took us at 7:10. We over-ordered, and had three pies, the Old Chicago deep dish, the Frank Nitti stuffed and the Michigan Ave thin crust. I'd rank them in that order of preference though they were all solid. Leftovers heated up well the next day. I thought they (well, the Old Chicago and Nitti) were unlike any pizzas I ate in Chicago regularly (Giordano's and Malnati's were my mainstays) mainly due to the use of ricotta, and the sauce. Loved that the thin crust pie was cut into squares. I have no occasion to be in North Beach normally but this pizza (particularly the Old Chicago) is reason enough. Ready to plan a 2nd visit, for sure.