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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Number 14: Delfina's Trippa alla Fiorentina

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Delfina's trippa alla fiorentina. - GIL RIEGO JR.
  • Gil Riego Jr.
  • Delfina's trippa alla fiorentina.

SFoodie's countdown of our favorite 50 things to eat and drink, 2012 edition


Trippa alla fiorentina is not a pretty dish. There are no elegant curls of hand-made pasta to photograph. A tuft of baby greens placed on top would only look like a boutonniere pinned to the chest of an orangutan. But there's a reason Florentine-style tripe has been on Delfina's menu for most of the restaurant's 13 years.

It's one of San Francisco's best offal dishes, modeled on the tripe Craig Stoll ate around Florence and Tuscany before starting Delfina. His cooks slice blanched honeycomb tripe into thin strips and braise them with pancetta, aromatics, and tomatoes until the frilly tripe attains an almost gossamer softness. 

As appetizers go, it's not much less rich than seared foie gras. The pine-bough smell of rosemary haunts its aroma, as well as the sweetness and acid of the tomatoes, which disperse the tripe's offal funk, rendering it an earthy undertone. The cooks cover the surface of the dish in breadcrumbs -- a punctuating crunch -- and leave the crock in the wood-fired oven until the waiters arrive so they can bring it to the table, still bubbling. It may look humble, but it sounds -- and smells -- like a star.

Delfina Restaurant: 3621 18th St. (at Guerrero), 552-4055,

Other favorites in this series:

15: Truffled tater tots from Leatherneck Steakhouse

16: Baia Pasta's durum-wheat pastas

17: Z&Y's flaming fish with chile oil

18: Auntie April's fried catfish

19: None but the Brave from Heaven's Dog

20: Saha's vegan kibbeh

21: Starter Bakery's hazelnut kouign amann

22: Pupusas at Cafe and Restaurant Montecristo

23: 2 a.m. apple fritter at Bob's

24: Le Sanctuaire's vadouvan

25: Crab louis salad at Nettie's Crab Shack

26: Soy sauce chicken from Happy Bakery & Deli

27: Locanda's Jewish-style artichoke

28: Local: Mission Eatery's asparagus-egg sandwich

29: Memphis Minnie's 18-hour brisket

30: Custard buns from City View

31: Mission Chinese Food's kung pao pastrami

32: Panisse frites from Frances

33: Izakaya Yuzuki's chawanmushi

34: Fatted Calf's chorizo

35: Silvanas from House of Silvanas

36: Linden Street Brewery's black lager

37: Aged oolongs from Red Blossom Tea Company

38: Broken Record's crawfish grits

39: Cebiche mixto from La Mar 

40: Nutella-hazelnut hand pie from Black Jet Baking Co.
41: Fifth Floor's burger
42: Perbacco's agnolotti dal plin
43: Iced coffee from Sightglass
44: Cypress Grove's Purple Haze Chevre
45: Lechon from Tastebuds Cuisine
46: Duck with beets from AQ
47: Tai nigiri at ICHI Sushi
48: Fish with explosive chiles from Spices! 
49: Baker & Banker Bakery's blueberry cream cheese muffin
50: Kufta tajine from Cafe Zitouna

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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