Feb. 28th, 2011

The Best Italian Food That Isn't in Little Italy: Zuppa

Photo Courtesy of Zuppa Restaurant
With candlelight coming through the windows, exposed brick peering from the walls, the smell of garlic lingering around the space, and people intimately chatting over food and drink, I knew I found my little piece of Italy.

Quietly hidden in the industrial area of SOMA, Zuppa has quickly become one of the restaurants I visit weekly. Here are the top five reasons why Zuppa made the cut:

Although you can choose to sample each sliced meat separately, it just makes more sense to get the "Trio" which is a combination of any three meats you choose. Served tissue-paper thin, the Mortadella di Bologna, Coppa and the Prosciutto di Parma are my favorite.

Although the soup at Zuppa changes, I have never been disappointed with the options. The are hearty, have thick chunks of bacon and are all served with grilled bread. Perfect for sharing.

The Funghi Pizze (pizza) is my favorite. With fluffly wood fire crust, this pizza is covered with cheese and wild mushrooms. Doesn't get much better than that.

Ragu di Campagna
The Ragu di Campgna is perhaps the best dish on the menu. Rigatoni, pork ragu, broccoli rabe and cacciocavallo cheese are all blended together to create this hearty entree. Don't let the sauce go to waste, ask for some bread and dip away!

Lack of strong beverages
Although they do have a full bar, the options and diversity are not really up to par. With the absence of good strong cocktails I am left to focus on their expansive Italian wine list and the flavors of the food. Pinot Nero, Sandlahner Riserva, Santa Maddelena, 2001 and pretty much any of the Friuli options are my favorites.

564 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

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