We have been enjoying the curation of our collections for Foodie.com, where our latest compilations include our favorite bar bites (think fried!) and what we think are the best egg dishes, and top Neoplolitan-style pizzas in San Francisco. We, along with a few other Bay Area food bloggers, were invited by Foodie.com, owned and operated by Glam Media, to participate in a foodie feast hosted in flour + water’s private event space, the Dough Room. (Full disclosure: foodie.com picked up the tab.)
It’s still fairly difficult to get reservations at flour + water, and we have never had a party large enough to book the Dough Room, an upstairs space that flour + water also uses for cooking and pasta classes, so we gladly accepted Foodie.com’s gracious invitation. flour + water advertises that private dinners in the Dough Room are comprised of four courses served ‘family style’ with an option to add a pizza course; however, it seemed that there were more than five courses served to us, and as the evening wore on the 14 of us had a difficult time finishing many of the plates. Many of these courses are available on the current menu, so we decided to post this meal since it has been over a year since we last filed a dispatch about flour + water.
The Dough Room’s decor is dominated by the very large John Boos butcher block table that accommodates up to 14 people. The place settings included a printed copy of Foodie.com’s Top 100 Restaurants Worldwide which was a nice souvenir to take home. They were also pouring a choice of white or red wine, so we started with a decent white wine from Lazio:
The feast started with a mixed chicories salad with egg, mustard, watermelon radish, fennel and sunflower seeds (the bowl is portioned for two persons):
They also brought out a salumi board with pickled vegetables and mostarda. A bowl of sourdough was also provided to eat with the delicious assorted hams and cured meats, which are made at their little sister restaurant, Salumeria, across the street:
With a name like flour + water, their main focus is on pasta, and we were lucky to get two different pasta courses served as part of the feast. The first was a handkerchief-style thick pappardelle with braised oxtail meat and pine mushrooms. Beautiful to look at, the comforting pasta dish tasted rich with the oxtail meat and deliciously earthy with the forest fungi:
The second pasta dish was candy-wrapper shaped veal fattisu with brown butter, sage and chestnut. With such generous portions, we had no problems filling ourselves up with both of the very tasty and meaty pasta dishes:
We like our Piemontese wines, and this 2011 Brovia Sori del Drago Barbera d’Alba was a great choice to pair with the feast. Earthy with just the hint of fruit, it had the perfect acidity to balance the rich food:
The margherita pizza with San Marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte cheese, basil and extra virgin olive oil is one of the better Napoletana style pizzas in the City. With minimal charred blistering of the crust, the slices disappeared pretty quickly:
The contorni (side) dishes arrived before the meat course; brussels sprouts and Delicata squash with Hungarian pepper and lemon juice were served first. The sweet squash were tender roasted and made for a great fall/winter dish when paired with the charred brussels sprouts:
Next came roasted persimmons with hen of the woods mushroom and kale. Sweet, earthy and slightly bitter, this is a flavor combination that we didn’t think would work, but turned out to be excellent. It was a great way to prepare the typically astringent fruit:
The mixed roast of pork came accompanied by grapes and a drizzle of olive oil. The different cuts of pork were all decadently fatty and roasted to perfection. Almost everyone was too full to finish their portion by the time this came out, but we did notice that there was little to none of the pork belly left:
Dessert fills in the cracks in our stomachs, so we found room to eat the delicate and rich chocolate budino (Italian pudding) with espresso cream and salt seasoning:
We have eaten at flour + water several times, but this was a new experience as we have never been able to enjoy so many different courses from Partner/Chef Thomas McNaughton’s efficiently run kitchen. Many thanks to Foodie.com for sponsoring this event and allowing us to partake in the excellent Foodie Feast!