I think my favorite thing about Pizzeria Delfina, is that the food just keeps on coming. At least, that's how I like to eat there. Order everything on the menu that sounds good (in other words, almost everything) and let it fly. They always pace the dishes just right, so when the last few bites of one are left on the table, a new one arrives.
I've had quite a few meals at these restaurants, in both the Mission and Pacific Heights locations, and in my opinion, there are few more satisfying dining experiences. You get a wide variety of delicious, uncomplicated but perfectly prepared food - in exactly the right amounts for sharing. It's not expensive (though certainly not cheap, if you do it up) and I never leave feeling overwhelmed or over-stuffed. The pizzas, like the margharita - pictured above - are very good, with a thin layer of rich toppings over a just crisp enough crust. My real favorite dishes though, are the rotating list of sides they offer.
These arancini, above, were piping hot, full of gooey cheese and rice - with a hint of saffron. The tuna conserva salad, below - is a dead on combination of rich, garlicky tuna with olive oil, radicchio,white beans and peppery watercress.
Every so often they feature fresh, house-made ricotta cheese. This was their baked ricotta with shishito peppers and garlic toast. I dream about those garlic toasts. They're saturated with just the right amount of oil, and crisp but not tooth-breakingly hard.
This past weekend, they featured baked Hog Island Clams - with olive oil, garlic and sweet chile pepper. I think there must have been some butter in there too. We were told to pick up the clams and slurp them out of the shells like oysters, to get the seasoning from the salt.
At the California Street location, they offer gelato for dessert. They don't (always) have it at the Mission location, but they do offer biscotti, a cannoli and one or two other rotating or special desserts. You might be tempted to skip dessert at the Mission location - what with Tartine and Bi Rite Creamery on the same block, but you might want to think twice about that. The cannoli is as good as anything I've had at either of those two places.
Our list of must-have items continues to grow - so far, it features the tuna conserva salad, the prosciutto and/or margharita pizza, the meatballs, the fresh ricotta, anything with shishito peppers, the cauliflower with chilis, and now the clams and the cannoli. It's not really a problem though, as long as we allow plenty of time for lunch, and order plenty of wine!
2406 California St
(between Fillmore St & Steiner St)
San Francisco, CA 94115
3611 18th St
(between Guerrero St & Oakwood St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Be prepared to wait, at either location, but the Mission one is much smaller than Pac Heights. We like to go for lunch and show up either after two or right at opening time. I'm sort of partial to the the Mission one because it's the original, but Pac Heights offers gelato and more desserts, and is smack in the middle of the Fillmore shopping area so it has it's charms too.