[San Francisco, Mission] Flour + Water

Walked in for dinner on a Sunday night at Flour + Water in the Mission. I believe they keep a communal table and their bar open for walk-ins.

They had a pasta tasting for $75 but I ordered a la carte.

I had:

salumi board with tuscan butter, roman mustard, dill pickle, and ciabatta ($18)

Probably meant for sharing, this was a large plate of salumi for one person to eat. A pork pâté, coppa, finocchiona (like a fennel flavored salami), and coppa di testa (head cheese), served with toasted ciabatta, a “roman mustard” that had some walnuts in it, and a few pieces of dill pickle. The “Tuscan butter” was a whipped lard spread mixed with some aleppo peppers and some other things that I don’t remember. All of the salumi are made in-house and were good. My favorite was probably the coppa di testa, though it was not as funky as other head cheeses I’ve had.


porchetta agnolotti dal plin with pork cracklins and collard greens ($22)

I really enjoyed the porchetta agnolotti. Very nice green colored pasta wrappers that had a very nice al dente texture and chew. The filling tasted more like a pork stew than a porchetta but was also good. A fairly substantial portion and quite filling. Some of the pork cracklings became softened in the broth like sauce, while other pieces remained crispy. A few pieces of collard greens were interspersed with the pasta.


wood oven roasted cauliflower with calabrian chili soffrito and fried capers ($8)

Had a side of cauliflower. Nicely roasted and tender with some charred spots. The soffrito was a little vinegary.

IMG_3887


menu


Was stuffed at this point, so no dessert.

Pro-tip: Trick Dog is steps away and is a nice spot for a pre (or after) dinner cocktail(s).

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Pasta tasting for $75. A simple statement as to why I will never darken their door again.

We went there perhaps a year after they opened. It’s the most bold example in SF of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Boy, do they take themselves seriously.

Looking at their menu the pasta tasting was 5 pastas + an appetizer and a dessert, sounds not outrageous for SF prices these days I think? Though I don’t know how big the portions are for each. As for their a la carte menu their prices seem about normal (as normal gets in $$$ SF I guess) for the apps and pastas at least, compared to similar Italian/Cal-Italian places like Perbacco, Delfina, Cotogna, etc.

My first thought around pasta tasting menu is, that’s a lot of carb (and probably rich sauces too). So I dug up some pics of this tasting menu. And its a lot of carb! And this comes from a carb loving person.

That aside, I think my issue with a pasta tasting menu is probably the lack of variety. I mean its all pasta. Kinda like if someone does a tasting menu for burritos, sandwiches, etc. A tasting menu seems a good way, however, to extract more money from customers who may otherwise be happy with a plate of $25 pasta. I am surprised there aren’t more restaurants doing this.

Have you been to Belotti in Oakland? I am curious how the pasta compares. I last went to F+W in 2011 so its challenging to do any meaningful comparison.

Haven’t been to Belloti, its been on my list though after the rave review in the East Bay Express awhile ago and this thread: https://www.hungryonion.org/t/oakland-belotti/

Re: pasta tasting menus, I’ve only had a pasta tasting menu once, a few years ago at Babbo in NYC (which btw is currently $95). I didn’t feel there was lack of variety in that meal. I think it depends obviously on the types and flavors of the pasta the restaurant puts out though.

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SPQR has a lunch pasta tasting menu (3 dishes). It’s lovely, but way too much food.

Saw that on a TV program yesterday about this restaurant, and the famous collard greens pasta dough.

We recently had a really nice dinner Flour & Water. As we like tasting menus we choose the pasta tasting menu which obviously covers their great house-made pasta but also covers other parts of their menu. The wine pairing was not earth-shattering but good complements to the dishes.

Overall we really enjoyed our time at Flour & Water and will definitely return


The night started with a good amuse bouche of cannoli with house-ricotta and caviar


pinzimonio, bagna rosso
Good way to showcase local produce and a sauce reminiscent of ajvar


halibut crudo, melon, cucumber, avocado, lemon verbana
Good balance of fruitiness, savory and some spiciness


padron arancini, mozzarella, sungold tomato
Hot and fresh out of the fryer - with a nice oozing center and some bolder flavoring


truffle sformato, parmigiano reggiano, parmigiano fonduta
Soufflé with good truffle inclusion and some textures from fried potato pieces - one of the highlights.


taleggio Scarpinocc, parmigiano reggiano, aceto balsamico
Not surprisingly the pastas were all highlights - filled with taleggio but the aged balsamico was key for the dish


aleppo corzetti, manila clam, padron, preserved citrus
corzetti stamped with a flour&water symbol showed a good balance between brininess, spiciness and tartness


tortellini en brodo, eggplant, tomato consommé, basil oil
Pure taste of summer with tomato water, delicately filled tortellini and pesto like oil - real highlight


jimmy nardello agnolotti, veal, oregano breadcrumbs
Umami filled agnolotti with a slightly acidic sauce and good texture from the breadcrumbs


chive soprese, veal sausage, summer peperonata, cranberry beans
Classical combination of pasta, beans and meat - just elevated


dark chocolate budino, espresso-caramel cream, sea salt
Strong, dark chocolate flavor with coffee sets this variation of budino apart


strawberries with mascarpone mousse, lime leaf curd, brown butter crumble
We were in the mood for one more dessert from the regular menu - what looks like two large strawberries are actually mascarpone covered in strawberry “gel”. Good balance with the refreshing strawberry sorbet and lime leaf curd

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Looks great!

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