Share |

Quest For The Best: Plate of Spaghetti/Delfina/Mission District

Pros: Relaxed atmosphere and outstanding food + service
Cons: Tough reservation to get for prime time dining
Best For: Classic Tuscan dishes as good as it gets thousands of miles away from Italy

It's easy to miss the mark, when trying to achieve perfection with something as simple as a plate of spaghetti. The spaghetti of my childhood was a congealed mix of limp noodles, manufactured red sauce (can't call it tomato sauce because I'm not sure there was much tomato in it!) topped with America's preservative-laden "parmesan cheese". It wasn't until my first trip to Italy that I discovered the real deal. I believe it was a cold November day in Venice, invited into a restaurant having a private family party, where huge bowls of steaming, fragrant noodles were deposited on either end of the table. A final grating from the huge hunk of Parmigiano Reggiano completed the dish, as 20 hungry locals slurped and groaned with pleasure in between sips of local wine.

Ever since, I've been on a quest for the quintessential plate of spaghetti here in the States and it is definitely alive and well at Delfina! I hope it forever remains on the menu. But if not, there are other sensational equally as perfect pasta dishes to choose from, on a seasonal basis.

Hooray for Delfina and kudos to Craig and Annie Stoll.

3621 18th Street
SF 94110
Open daily for dinner
Website for more info and reservations: