igh-caliber Italian restaurants have been popping up in San Francisco’s Mission District, said Nick Czap in The New York Times. Among the latest and most notable is Flour + Water, housed in a restored Victorian building on a quiet street not far from the neighborhood’s hub. The philosophy of chef Thomas McNaughton, the former sous chef of the city’s four-star restaurant Quince, is to “make the kind of food that chefs like to eat.”
Flour + Water’s name is a big clue to what he had in mind: pizza and pasta. (McNaughton once worked in a pasta factory in Bologna, Italy.) Diners are greeted by aromas wafting from the kitchen’s wood-fired oven. The tangy margherita, “delicate yet substantial,” is made with fior di latte, a fresh-milk cheese. Among the house-made pastas are a maltagliati with an earthy, braised giblet ragu, and a crescenza cappelletti with roasted corn and a bitter honey that gives the dish “a pleasantly sharp finish.” The dessert list includes a chocolate budino with sea-salt flakes and espresso-caramel cream, as well as a honey-pistachio semifreddo topped with a “mound of green frost” made from simple syrup and an herb granita. 2401 Harrison St., (415) 826-7000
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