Occupation: Hotel Sales Person / Freelance Writer
Favorite Restaurant: Pazzia Restaurant & Pizzeria
Reviewed Pazzia Restaurant & Pizzeria: Saturday, July 30, 2011
I have been going to Pazzia for years and love it more and more each time. It’s like a visit to Italy without leaving San Francisco.
Pazzia is a small Florentine Italian restaurant. They really don’t have typical Italian fare, like spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna (except occasionally as specials), but they do have fresh seafood and meat dishes as well as several great pasta options, and the most fabulous risotto and pizzas…and let’s not forget their excellent Italian wine selections. I'm not a fan of steaks, but the filet mignon is so tender you can cut it with a fork.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the owner Massimo treats everyone like they are in his own home. The restaurant is very well priced, especially for the quality. Its South of Market location is ideal for locals, conventioneers, and people going to the ballpark. I’ve been to their sister restaurant in Florence, and Pazzia's food tastes very similar and authentic.
You know it’s got to be good since I see and hear a lot of Italians dining at Pazzia. Italians seem to not dine at Italians restaurants -- guess they think they can make it better at home -- but they seem to flock to Pazzia.
Occupation: Video Editor
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Kabuto Sushi
Reviewed Pazzia Restaurant & Pizzeria: Friday, August 12, 2011
Pazzia is a sweet spot in SOMA to get comforting Italian food. The space is small, but clean and airy with wonderful open-air windows. When I arrived for an early dinner, the place had just a few diners, but it quickly filled up over the course of the dinner.
The portion sizes are just right. For an appetizer, I had the beet salad, which consisted of cubed purple and golden beets topped with candied walnuts and a sprinkling of goat cheese. My guest and I also had the beef bresaola, thinly sliced, cured beef, so delicate and tender, but not too salty. Wrapped in fresh arugula leaves, this was easily a highlight of the meal. For an entrée, I tried the scallop and prawn risotto, which while light and lovely, was just a regular plate of risotto. I wasn’t terribly impressed. My guest had the thin crust pizza, topped with mushrooms and sausage, which he exclaimed was better than Escape from New York's pizza. For dessert, we had fresh raspberry and lemon sorbet. It had just the right amount of depth and sweetness. Definitely the second highlight of our meal!
I found the warm and inviting staff to be the best thing about Piazza. They were all attentive and courteous, open to chatting, and kept our water glasses full. But while the food was extremely fresh and aesthetically beautiful, the flavors weren’t very original, and I thought the food was pretty expensive for not being very memorable. I was totally comfortable, the food came quickly, the staff was just wonderful, but the food fell short. I won’t find myself going back, but it was a very enjoyable meal!
Occupation: Former HR Executive
Favorite Restaurant: La Mexicana Restaurant
Reviewed Pazzia Restaurant & Pizzeria: Friday, August 5, 2011
This unassuming, yet very comfortable, restaurant was full when we arrived, and our table near the window was ready. The waitstaff was busy, and Michaela, who is from Venice, Italy, was our server. The owner is from Florence, Italy. Michaela was helpful and very accommodating while we waited for everyone to arrive. She was attentive and brought us wine and fresh warm French bread for starters. The restaurant, while compact, was not overly loud and is apparently growing. The sign on the windows next door stated that the area was for their planned expansion.
For starters, we ordered the carpaccio. It was very thinly sliced and covered with capers and when coupled with the French bread, it was delicious. We then shared a mushroom and sausage pizza, and it was wonderful. It was very thin with a toasty crust. It had a light olive oil and fresh and light pureed tomato sauce covered with a generous portion of large crumbled pieces of sausage. The flavors were amazing, and the size was more than enough for one person.
We also shared the tortelloni, which was fresh made from spinach pasta and was like a large ravioli, stuffed with braised beef in a porcini mushroom cream sauce with quartered white mushrooms, as well. It was rich and delicious. The portion was adequate for one person and very filling.
For dessert we had the classic tiramisu, which was the best we have ever had and was in a dead heat with one we had in Milan several years ago. It was very light and creamy and not overpowering. We also had the crème caramel, which also light and very flavorful.
You can see into the kitchen and watch how busy it was. It was a wonderful and relaxing experience. We shall return.