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Monday, May 25, 2009

Hot Meal: Flour + Water

Posted By on Mon, May 25, 2009 at 3:57 PM

click to enlarge Sign of the times: Does the formula of pizza plus Mission equal a sure winner? - RACHELMANFREDI VIA FLICKR
  • Rachelmanfredi via Flickr
  • Sign of the times: Does the formula of pizza plus Mission equal a sure winner?
Such is the life of the new restaurant in San Francisco. On the plus side, you're in business the minute your doors open. On the minus, you don't have much time to ramp up your skills before the mob descends, fork in one hand, knife in the other, eager to pass judgment on your deliciousness. Or lack thereof.

With the understanding that Flour + Water is a very new, still-in-rubber-pants restaurant (and that SF Weekly critic Meredith Brody will offer a detailed take in coming weeks), we can tell you that the restaurant is, in essence, Beretta minus the cocktails. Both are treading a path already paved by the success of Pizzeria Delfina. Both serve a similar style of fresh, simple, competent Italian food. Both lack the spark of weird genius that takes Craig Stoll's food at Delfina to the level of the sublime. Both are lodged in much more date-appropriate spaces than Delfina's, and charge prices that make it very difficult for your average couple to escape for less than $50.

Here are some impressions after a single weekend visit. The pizza biancoverde was bland and a little soggy. The cornmeal cake with poached rhubarb and olive oil ice cream was a little rubbery and also bland. The tortellini of mortadella with fava beans was the best thing we ordered, its timid seasoning a bonus, since the flavor of the fava beans and the mortadella were rich enough on their own. We did have a run-in with some red wine (the Planeta de Cerasuolo di Vittoria) that showed up stone cold, and a sweet but rather overbearing waiter who seemed shocked that we weren't into it.

click to enlarge *CHRISTOPHER* VIA FLICKR
  • *christopher* via Flickr

Still, the crowd at Flour + Water looked happy, a little tipsy, and ready to put out. We predict good things.

Flour + Water 2401 Harrison (at 20th St.), 826-7000

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Heather Smith

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