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Jan 2, 2014 11:45 AM

La Nebbia from owners of La Ciccia (Noe Valley, SF)

Sporting frosted windows and a lack of signage, given the reputation of the owner's main restaurant, La Ciccia, it was no shock to see this new wine bar/restaurant filled on the Saturday night following Christmas.

The food menu includes a section of cheeses with accompaniments, several types of prosciutto (jamon iberico slipped in too), a few small plates, and six pizzas.

Fans of cured tuna heart will find it served simply on sheep's milk ricotta.

The format leaves good room for experimentation. For example, the Speck Fresh Mozzarella Gorgonzola Dop Lemon Zest pizza was very fragrant and the lemon and cheese combination reminded me of some of my favorite slices at Cheeseboard Pizza in Berkeley. The crust was thin and on the chewier side, and it needed some more salt.

Given what I'd read beforehand, I was surprised by the makeup of the clientele--- at 7pm, it was filled halfway with families with small children. At 7:40, the children were all gone and someone dimmed the lights. They don't take reservations, so I'd be curious to see if they can retain a family audience at the earlier hours.
1781 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

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  1. Thanks for report; I've been looking for some hounds to check in. The speck pizza sounds spectacular, like something from Pizzaiolo as well as Cheeseboard Pizza.

    Prices on the prosciuttos and the jamon seemed a bit high. Do quality/quantities merit?

    2 Replies
    1. re: dordogne

      That list includes some of the best ham you can get in this country.

      1. re: dordogne

        The Prosciutto San Daniele Levoni 24 months cost $16, and we were given five slices, each of which was cut thick enough to retain its height when rolled over, but thin enough to "melt" on your tongue. I don't regularly eat high end salumi or cheeses at restaurants because of their price, but for a rare treat, my $5 portion was well worth it and as high a quality as I hoped.

        IIRC, it was served with three slices of thin crisped slices of bread, which I ate without the prosciutto since it seemed like a sure fire way to not appreciate the salumi.

      2. I took advantage of being East Coast jet lagged last week and went on the 3rd at 5:30pm. This was my first time waiting outside a restaurant for it to open!

        We had two very tired kids with us so didn't order as much or as adventurously as I would like but found it enjoyable. I wasn't blown away by the food - I had high expectations based on what they serve at La Ciccia - but did love the lasagna.

        It is definitely on the list to go back to sans kids and order more of a sampling of menu items.

        - Tracy

        1. I guess I neglected to post about my meal here. Walked in around 8:45, the place was almost full but they had one table open.

          The Jamon Iberico de Bellota D.O. Guijuelo Marcos Salamanca was the best ham I've ever had in this country, better than most of the ham I had in Spain. Paired beautifully with their last bottle of 2005 Vallana Gattinara.

          Also had the 36-month San Daniele, they said they have to order it from the East Coast, nobody else on the West Coast cares enough. Great in its very different way.

          Sicilian-inspired pizza with squid ink, anchovies, raisins, and pine nuts was really good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I have liked all of the pizzas I have had here quite a bit.
            For those nearby: they will do takeout, which makes me very happy.

          2. we were very generously treated to a wonderful, very abundant meal here last night. we had:
            3 crostini: nduja with pureed carrot and celery leaf; house-made truffle butter, chocolate and Cantabrian Sea anchovy; and basil ricotta, tapenade, and straciattela di burrata.
            Stracciatella di burrata, anchovies, celery, with truffled oil.
            Sheep’s milk ricotta with ground red pepper, parsley & mint, fava puree.
            Prosciutto di Parma Galloni, aged 24 months.
            A special that night of pork tonnato with radishes and capers.
            Pizza with prosciutto di Parma, Schiacciata buffalo mozzarella, arugula, and pecorino romano.
            Creme brulee with raspberries and boysenberries.

            everything was good to outstanding. The tonnato was my second favorite - subtle but with lovely little savory bites of the capers and the tonnato itself. the Proscutto was buttery and sweet/salty - i too, like hyperbowler, skipped the bread in order to better appreciate the delicacy of the cured meat (although our bread was not toasted for that dish, which played a part in my decision to forgo it). my absolute favorite bite of the night was the crostino of truffle butter, chocolate and anchovy. the flavors just kept giving and competing - in a good way - with every nibble, and i wish i'd had a plate of just those. the chocolate was subtle but there. an amazing dish.

            i wish the pizza had been cooked a little more - would have liked the crust a tad more crispy, a little more charred. but overall, a winner of a meal. We had a delicious barolo with dinner, a prosecco for starters and a dessert wine. service was stupendous, warm, and knowledgeable. the chef made the rounds to greet guests and ask if they were enjoying their meals. i'm only bummed that there was none of the shaved tuna heart i'd had at La Ciccia, but for that, i can go to La Ciccia. can't wait to come back here.

            7 Replies
            1. re: mariacarmen

              Well we finally made it back here, and were again very pleased. They have a new chef and there were no disappointments at all this time. Looking at my former review, two of my wishes were granted on this visit: the anchovy/cocoa crostini was a plate of three, and the BF doesn't love anchovies, so 2.5 were all mine. Also, there is a new pizzaiolo in the kitchen: the smoked mozzarella, sausage and artichoke pizza was great, and even more so when our wonderful server, Davide, gifted us a small bowl of red sauce to drizzle over the top. this time the perfectly crust was crispy but with a good chew.

              we also had the grilled radicchio, balsamic onions and burrata - excellent, nicely bitter but tempered by the cool, creamy burrata. and a bruschetta of baked ricotta and fava bean puree with mint. outstanding.

              dessert was fresh ricotta with honey and an apricot compote, with biscotti.

              Throughout our meal, Davide graciously steered us to what he felt was best on the menu, and he was right on the money every time.

              This is such a homey place, with excellent warm service. we still haven't tried most of their wide selection of cured meats, which were on many tables around us. We were too full. But next time, a glass of barolo and a plate of Prosciutto di San Daniele and maybe a salumi flight, e basta!

              1. re: mariacarmen

                Who is the new chef? I was under the impression that Massimo from La Ciccia was chef/owner. Are there any big changes to the menu as a result?

                1. re: srr

                  No ownership change, he's still the boss. They expanded the menu a bit a few months back:


                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Thanks for the link. Went for the first time last week; the menu was more extensive than I expected, as explained in the article. Squid ink pizza was a standout although fishier than the pasta dishes usually taste to me. The lime peel I thought was brilliant. Had one of the salumi platters and squid salad. Everything was good, the least favorite was the lasagna which tasted relatively ordinary, though still good. Burrata dish was also excellent. There was some shrimp but I think I got denied by my companions.

                      Appreciate the different menu and feel compared with La Ciccia. We've been going there since 2005 or 6, a couple times a year. My wife prefers the latter, as do I, so it will probably continue to be our preference, but I may make it out to La Nebbia with others on occasion.

                      When we were there Massimo came in I guess to make the rounds, talking to some of the staff and a few customers.

                    2. re: srr

                      i don't know his name. i only know the last one left, went back to Italy, around October. Robert's right, Massimiliano is still there for both places. And no, menu hasn't changed radically.

                      1. re: srr

                        and obviously i misspoke. new cook, not new chef.