Caffe Bella Venezia - Page 2

Hostel territory
|
()

We noted a similar problem with the minestrone ($4.50), a run-of-the-mill vegetable soup heavy with carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, potatoes, and shreds of spinach — but no tomatoes, white beans, or pasta. Both lasagna and minestrone responded to salting, the latter more smartly than the former.

A nice feature of the menu is that you can get little versions of pizzas, pastas, and salads for $3 to $6 each. A pair of these makes a nice two-course dinner for someone who isn't starving or is watching carb intake or feels a little jet-lagged. Pizza regina ($4.75) is a daughter of the full-figured pizza margherita, topped with the same combination of tomatoes, oregano, basil, and mozzarella — plenty of mozzarella. Pizza salsiccia ($8.95) is (to extend our familial imagery) an uncle, a brawny pie of meaty mushrooms and lots of fennel-charged Italian sauces. If the current vogue of thin-crust pizza has left you fatigued, you will appreciate BV's slightly thicker, breadier crusts.

Two of the restaurant's best dishes turn up as appetizers. Caprese salad ($6.95) is often routine, a tried-and-true medley of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, but here it is lightly doused with a pesto vinaigrette that enlivens each constituent while bringing them together. (All salad dressings are supposed to do this, but few do it this well.) And sautéed mussels ($9.95) arrive in a pool of garlicky tomato–white wine sauce that will have you motioning for more of the house-made focaccia to sop it up with, since it is impolite to do so with your fingers, even if you've just flown in from Venice and have jet lag. *

CAFFÉ BELLA VENEZIA

Dinner: nightly, 5 p.m.–midnight

720 Post, SF

(415) 775-1156

www.caffebellavenezia.com

Beer and wine

AE/DC/DISC/MC/V

Not loud

Wheelchair accessible

Also from this author

  • The last supper

    Food writer Paul Reidinger bids farewell after more than a decade covering the San Francisco food scene

  • Radish

    Staging well-crafted feats of new all-American, neatly tucked away from the Valencia Street h-words

  • Boxing Room

    A warm Hayes Valley spot that punches up the Cajun trend with lagniappe, mirilton, and po'boys