Fiorella [San Francisco, Outer Richmond]

Had dinner at Fiorella this evening and I’d like to go back and try more. When having pizza with friends and trying to decide what pie to share, I’ll let everyone know that I’ll eat anything to make the process of figuring out what to share ‘easier’. Usually, it is easier b/c there aren’t necessarily other interesting items on the menu that catch my eye, but from this menu, I wanted to try the chicken liver antipasti or the beef hearts or the pan fried caciocavallo. Cacio-what? All my suggestions were shot down. At least, with the pizza, my friends allowed me to order the clam pizza to share as well as the New Haven. And we got an order of suppli al telefono, one of my favorite things to eat…ever, and a young arugula salad with pecorino and hazelnuts.

The salad was run of the mill and I found the suppli a disappointment. I’ve made suppli once and it was such a time consuming task that I’ve never tried to make it again. I’ll order it whenever I see it b/c I love it and know how much work goes into it. When you bite into suppli, there is hopefully cheese inside that is melted enough that as you pull the remaining bite away from your mouth, the cheese stretches out into thin strands, like telephone wires. I like my suppli this way but our suppli was the size of a large kumquat and did not have any of that delightful stringy cheese action. I think it may have been the kind of mozzarella used.

The pizza was great however. Unabashedly, I could eat a whole clam pie by myself as they look to be about 10" with 4 slices. The clams were briny and chopped just right for a toothsome but not necessarily rubbery texture. I loved the fresh lemon provided so we could squeeze lemon juice on. The crust stood up well under the load of clams and was suitably chewy. Between the clams, the garlic, oregano, lemon, pecorino, and a nice stable crust, I felt like this is a delicious, well balanced pizza.

The New Haven is a good pizza to have in order to set a benchmark…it has parmesan, pecorino, tomato, olive oil, and basil on it. Simple. This pizza had a slight char to it and a nice chewiness. It wasn’t the most exciting pizza on the menu that I wanted to try but a solid, reliable pizza. I’d eat that clam pie again in a heartbeat but I’d also like to go back to try their spicy salami pie. They had another one tonight that had broccoli di rabe, garlic, chilies, and an egg on it but the friends didn’t want to go with greens on the pizza.

There were some aesthetic touches that we really liked - from the gorgeous oven to the quirky hand-drawn “best of the bay” wallpaper to the gold doodling in the restroom, lots of attention to detail was evident. Care is definitely taken here and a lot of interesting things are offered from the kitchen that one doesn’t tend to find in your neighborhood pizzeria. Glad that Fiorella is offering them and I’m eager to return.

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I’m a little confused. All these pizzas are made with pecorino, not with a mozarella (or other semi-soft cheese)?

Do you mean Fiorillo’s or is this another place?

No, Fiorella. Not Fiorillo’s, which is not in SF Outer Richmond.

I see. I’m not from the area but my ex brother in law is a Fiorillo and his cousin owns Fiorillo’s

Fiorella
2339 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121
b/t 24th Ave & 25th Ave
Outer Richmond
http://www.fiorella-sf.com/

Here’s a link to their menu from last night. The two pizzas we had last night both used pecorino and the New Haven also had parmesan. No soft melting cheese on either. However, some of their other pizzas use cheeses that are not hard, grating cheeses. They seem to use fresh cheeses like ricotta and fior de latte mozzarella. From the menu, it looks like they use fontina on one of their pizzas but that’s the only one where the cheese is a semi-soft cheese.

I grew up outside New Haven and that clam pizza sounds great. Checked the menu and was enchanted to not see the ubiquitous “add a farm egg” anywhere on it. I don’t have anything against eggs but it’s refreshing to see them mentioned on only one pizza.

No one ever wants to split a clam pizza with me so frankly, I’m glad that Fiorella’s pizzas aren’t huge so I could eat one of those clam pizzas by myself. There were some really nice touches there. I hope that you go check it out and enjoy the clam pizza - I’d love to hear your opinion since you grew up outside NH.

That’s certainly a welcome invitation, as the only clam pizza I’ve had in California was at Pizza Moda in Berkeley a couple of years ago. I like PM a lot – their crust has a great flavor and chew – but the clam pie had too much lemon zest and was way too blond, overall. I get that great big blackened bubbles and char on the bottom of the crust aren’t too everyone’s taste but they’re part of what makes pizza taste like pizza to me. And the New Haven/coal oven thing lends itself to that “mmm…carbon” taste.

I’m not sure if I can talk Mr. Snaxx into schlepping through Bridge and SF traffic to the Outer Richmond. But I will hope to get over there one of these days. The other thing is that if I were to be around there, I think I have a pre-existing gluttony engagement at Shanghai Dumpling King.

Because they like the briny clammy taste so much they don’t want to share? or dislike so much they don’t want anything to do with it?

Definitely the latter…or it’s not so much they dislike it as I’d guess 99.9% have never had it. But the notion of a clam pizza seems to be counter to what most of the people I know are willing to consume, when it comes to pizza. Clams on pizza seems strange, I guess? I think it’s delicious so I can’t relate at all

I could easily devour the clam pizza - for myself.
We ordered them at Mary’s Pizza in Sonoma County for years when we lived in Forestville. It’s not strange at all.

I’m feeling solidarity here. Maybe a clam pizza night for a HO-down? It sounds like we will all get our own…and there will be no askance glances for it.

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We walked in the door tonight at 5:30 pm to a nearly empty space. The restaurant was jammed when we finished at 6:15 pm with a wait list - Tuesday night.
Suppli al Telephono is perfection; hot and crisp with a melty cheese center on a fresh tomato sauce - as delightful and as tasty as the suppli in Trastevere in Rome.
The Alamo Pie is mushroomed with garlic and full-flavored on a charred chewy crust (I want the clam pie but the DH wouldn’t hear it). The pasta Ragu is al dente - just as we like it - and every mouthful is richly meaty.
This is comfort food.
Service is friendly and attentive.

The menu is straight forward and entices us to return to enjoy the asparagus and the chicken liver Toscana…and, the Neapolitan pie with anchovies and capers.Uploading… Uploading… Uploading…
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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold