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Flour + Water

2401 Harrison St. (20th St.) Send to Phone
Simple but impressive Italian draws crowds to this cozy neighborhood spot --- but be prepared to stand in line.

Cuisine
Open
Dinner nightly
Open late Fri.-Sat.
Features
  • Dress code: Casual
  • Reservations suggested

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Flour + Water, San Francisco, CA

Flour + Water Restaurant Review

: Flour + Water may have wanted to be a neighborhoody Mission restaurant, but the caliber of its cuisine quickly made it a citywide destination. Chef Thomas McNaughton's short yet soulful nightly menu features Italian fare with Northern California inspirations. Fresh pasta dishes showcase authentic flavors, as with the maltagliati ("scraps" of excess pasta) with braised giblet ragù and nepitella, an herb that tastes like minty oregano. Pappardelle with braised oxtail is velvety and rich --- think hearty pot roast over pasta. Neapolitan-style pizzas are given a two-minute dip in a wood-burning oven set to 427 degrees centigrade (nearly the same temperature as Hell, according to kitchen staff). The result is a crust that is chewy and, in spots, perfectly charred. Ours, topped with tomato, eggplant, capers and olives, evolved through layers of balanced flavor like a fine wine. Antipasti include a mushroom salad elevated with the addition of full-bodied, earthy mousserons. The handful of nightly entrées might include chicken al mattone or braised pork cheeks. End with the chocolate budino with espresso cream and sea salt. Choose from a short list of boutique, mainly Italian wines. Note: Flour + Water is popular, so be prepared to wait. And wait.
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