I found this beautiful place for my 21st birthday meal with my sister, during my year in the city. Perched at the top of Valencia Street in the Mission District where I spent so much of my time it had rave reviews and the menu looked decadent without being over the top. Not only did it live up to my (pretty high) expectations, but it surpassed them.
To dine at this little gem you can only call an hour ahead to pop your name on the wait list, no reservations.
So we arrived and were told there was a 15-20 minute wait for the table. There was really only one thing for it, cocktails at the bar. The place was already bustling and we stood taking in the dark wood surfaces, hanging line of bulbs and high, open ceilings while we sipped on apple/gin/lemon/basil/honey concoctions.
We were shown our table and dug into the menu. Its a mix of small plates, mains and pizzas, all of which come highly recommended. We ended up sharing three small plates (pretty generous in size) and a pizza between us. The pizza was delicious but for my return visit all I could think about were the small plates...
Our small plates included: Gnocchi with porcini mushrooms & smoked pancetta, Beef carpaccio with argula, parmesan & capers, and Dungeness crab arancini with calabrese aioli. This last one was my standout dish. For our pizza we went with the squash, provolone, proscuitto, and goat cheese option.
Pizza photo c/o Beretta
Without a doubt this is my favourite San Franciscan restaurant. So much so that when my parents made the long haul trip to come and visit me I took them here. We 're-celebrated' my birthday. And we had arancini - plus baccala mantecato and melt in your mouth burrata brushcetta with walnut bread & mushroom truffle honey. I had the gnocchi for my main. And then...to top it all off? Panacotta ice cream with salt and olive oil. Sounds strange, was strange, but pretty incredible too.
If you're ever in the city, I can't recommend it enough. The vibe, the staff, the food. And their wine is pretty good too...
Find them here: http://berettasf.com/ here: 1199 Valencia St and here: https://twitter.com/BerettaSF