Friday, November 6, 2009



Flour + Water is a San Francisco Italian restaurant that focuses on seasonal ingredients sourced from the unparalleled and ever abundant California artisans and growers.
Their menu changes daily and is intentionally small and focused. The cuisine of flour + water has literally been done for hundreds of years in Italy—they are not re-inventing it rather trying to pay tribute to what we believe is the world’s purest style of cooking.

Opened last May in a restored Victorian building on a quiet corner a few blocks from the center of the Mission District, flour + water is the latest in a steady stream of high-caliber Italian restaurants to enter the neighborhood. The owners, David White and David Steele, are longtime Mission residents, with roots in the food trade.

“We make the kind of food that chefs like to eat,” Mr. McNaughton said of the restaurant’s cooking style. Given the restaurant’s name, it should come as no surprise that pizza and pastas are focuses. The kitchen has a wood-fired oven, and Jon Darsky, the pizzaiolo, is a skilled operator; even before you take a bite, the aromas that waft through the restaurant make that abundantly clear. A tangy margherita with fior di latte, a fresh-milk cheese, is delicate yet substantial.

The pastas, all housemade, included a maltagliati with a dark and earthy braised giblet ragù ; and a roasted corn and crescenza cappelletti with bitter honey, which gave the dish a pleasantly sharp finish.

For dessert, the restaurant offers an understated chocolate budino with sea salt flakes and espresso-caramel cream ; and a honey-pistachio semifreddo, topped with a little mound of green frost — a granita of herbs and simple syrup.

Flour + Water, 2401 Harrison Street; (415) 826-7000; Open daily, 5:30 p.m. to midnight.

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