If you are like me, you will mix up Pinocchio and Pulcinella, enter the wrong restaurant and have an impending sense of doom as you take a look at the sad pizzas coming out of the electric oven. Thankfully, I have friends who call me and tell me I am in the wrong spot! So, just the fact of NOT being the other place certainly improved my mood toward Pulcinella, a small newly-open pizzeria at the corner of Columbus and Vallejo. Wait, you say- are you seriously reviewing a spot smack in the middle of North Beach? I am, indeed.
Pulcinella was a recommendations of friends, and I went out and explored with one of my favorite pizza-buddies. This is the first review-worthy escapade I have had with Amy, so we were both beyond thrilled!
We had the pleasure to converse with Dario, the manager and, in our case, our server, about the restaurant, when they opened, why pizza and so on- it is a worthwhile conversation, and by all means follow his recommendations when it comes to selecting a pizza! Not everyone knows that fried pizza and stuffed pizza are pretty common in Naples. Fried pizza is unheard of in northern Italy, but not in North Beach, where Luigi and Dario really strive to deliver a truly original pizza experience…
In any case, we had a pizza with sausage and rapini, and a pizza Vesuvio following Dario’s recommendation: a stuffed pizza that looks like a margherita up top, but it is filled with ham, mozzarella and many more delights… It was quite simply phenomenal!!! The dough had the right elasticity, a bit crisp but chewy, and the ingredients… I still dream of the tomato sauce!
I am going back this week because the experience has been noteworthy, and repeatable! I was stunned, and can’t wait to have another of their unusual and delicious pizza.
Amy and I also had a chance to try the Pastiera Napoletana, possibly the most reputable dessert in Naples. Order it “unadulterated” of ice cream and chocolate sauce and you’ll be transported to a different world!
Pulcinella Pizzeria e Ristorante Italiano (NOTE: The website not only has music, but you can’t even stop it! Luigi, Dario- please take the music off!)
641 Vallejo St
San Francisco, CA 94133