Pizza Delfina


My reasons for going to San Francisco were manifold: to see the Golden Gate bridge, to eat lots of food, and–very high on the list–to meet one of my all-time favorite food bloggers, Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. Heidi’s star is on the rise these days: with the release of her GORGEOUS new cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, she’s about to take the world by storm. Have you seen it yet? Held it in your hands? You really should, it’s a beautiful thing.

For our rendezvous, Heidi–who lives close to where I was staying–gave me a call Wednesday morning and invited me to join her for coffee at Tartine before lunch at Pizza Delfina. We walked over together (I knew it was her coming down the street because of the trail of 101 cookbooks she left in her wake) and had an instant rapport. We talked shop (how does she make her site so spiffy?), we talked food (Tartine’s baked goods are truly remarkable), and we talked cameras (she fixed my manual mode so it shoots now in 400. What does that mean?!)

And then it was time to mozy on over to Pizza Delfina, the more casual extension of the highly regarded restaurant Delfina. And guess who joined us? None other than Bruce Cole of the late Saute Wednesday and current editor (and owner) of Edible San Francisco. I never expected to meet Bruce and I was really glad he came: he’s really low-key and really fun.

Now, despite the gracious greeting I received on this Wednesday morning, the experience hit a bump–at least for me–after Heidi put her name on the wait list/chalkboard:


We stood outside and I said, “I wonder if they’ll know we’re out here when our name comes up?”

So I went in to ask a waitress that very question and she said, “I don’t understand what you’re saying to me.”

I said, “Will you come outside when our name is called?”

“We always tell a party when their table is ready,” she answered with such contempt that I gulped. (Read Frank Bruni’s article about restaurant attitude for a more thorough indictment of restaurant snippiness.) Anyway, that was the only blip of unhappiness I experienced at Pizza Delfina. The rest was a pleasure.

Like these olives, they were a pleasure:


Served warm, they were unlike any olives I’ve ever had. As was this spicy cauliflower:


This may have been my favorite bite of the meal: roasted cauliflower with peppers and capers and garlic, it was an assault of flavor. I took more than my share.

As for the pizza, this pizza with Hen of the Wood mushrooms was surprisingly good–


–though I liked the Pizza Margherita best (not pictured.)

Ed Levine, on the phone, advised me: “People in San Francisco will try to take you out for pizza. Don’t let them.” But these pizzas proved worthy: smartly made, smartly dressed, the crust had a good bite and the center wasn’t too greasy. Those are the pizza standards I live by, though I didn’t write the book on pizza.

Afterwards, we headed over to Bi-Rite Creamery for ice cream and it was closed! No matter–Heidi and I posed for an adorably cute picture:


Bruce headed home and Heidi and I walked back together. I realized our time together was drawing to an end, so I decided to act fast: “Heidi,” I said, “I know we’ve only known each other for a few hours–and gee, this is awful sudden–but I was wondering.” I got down on one knee. “Will your food blog marry my food blog?”

Heidi’s eyes welled up with tears. “Oh Adam,” she said. I drew a deep breath. “I have something in my eye.”

We plucked it out and Heidi hugged me goodbye, my question unanswered, as she climbed a hill back home, cookbooks scattering behind her, little bunnies singing and dancing and a broken-hearted food blogger crawling back to his computer to blog about it.

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