Located right next door to the mothership Delfina, Pizzeria Delfina was opened in the Mission in 2005 by Craig and Ann Stoll. With seating for fewer than 25 people, the no reservations but open all day pizzeria always has a steady crowd, often with a wait of at least 30 minutes. As one of the original Mission spots for pizza, the food takes inspiration from Naples and New York style pies (where Craig grew up). Pizzeria Delfina’s menu is anchored around pizza, but it also offers a few cold and hot antipasti plates, salads and a couple of larger dishes (“piatti”).
Since it was lunchtime, we decided to split an antipasti and a pizza. Lucky for us, there was virtually no wait provided we sat at the bar counter — with the very warm weather we are experiencing lately everyone was opting to eat outside. The place setting came ready with the menu, breadsticks, water and a small plate holding grated parmesan cheese, red chili flakes and dried oregano leaves (still on the stem):
We were torn between ordering the Arancini or Chilled Tripe, “Tripperia Style.” We didn’t spend enough time in Naples to try out the offal specialty served at Tripperias (Tripe Shops), so we ordered the tripe. Sliced into noodle-like thin strands, the cold tripe was served cold with half a lemon, salt and house-made chili oil:
We were instructed to apply lemon juice, chili oil and salt to our liking. It was delicious, but probably not our favorite way to eat tripe. Since it tends to be a canvas that picks up the flavor surrounding it, we would probably order tomato-tripe stew such as Trippa alla Romana/Napoletana/Fiorentina/etc. over this dish, but we were glad we had the opportunity to try it:
Sitting at the counter provided us with plenty of entertainment by watching the two Pizzaiolos constantly making pies. They were quite the experts at creating hand stretched crusts, spending less than five minutes per pie to get them oven-ready complete with toppings:
This picture is not a particularly great shot, but it is an excellent example of the Lytro living picture capability. Click anywhere in the picture to check out what is behind the breadstick:
They have a small but concise wine list primarily focused on wines from Southern Italy. Since it was lunch, a glass of the Tami Grillo was the right beverage to pair with our meal:
They have fixed pizza choices on the menu, but they do rotate in two special pies every day. We chose one of the specials for that day, the green garlic, mozzarella, pecorino, black pepper and Speck pizza with an optional egg added in:
A view down the counter reveals the Neapolitan Meatballs in Sugo that we will have to return for one day:
Successful from the first day they opened, the Stolls have since opened a Pizzeria Delfina branch in Pacific Heights, with another one coming further south in Burlingame. Delfina and nearby Locanda serves more of the upscale Italian food, but it’s great to have a casual location from the same team as an option for lunch and dinner.