1.) Delfina serves good food simply. I hate it when decent chefs show off and put strawberries on salmon or use 45 ingredients to make a $30 version of mac and cheese. Delfina serves food that uses great ingredients and then gets out of the way. I am so tired of heavily sauced, cheese covered and over seasoned food.
2.) The service is prompt, non-threatening and non-formulaic. I am so tired of servers wearing tuxedos and exhibiting little or zero personality. Every member of the wait staff at Delfina wears their own clothes, without the silly hats or vests covered with buttons that say things like “Ask Me About Our Chicken Wings”.
3.) The wine list at Delfina is not pretentious and way out there somewhere in monetary stratosphere. A lot of restaurants in this town feature wine lists with bottles starting at $70, with an average price of around $120. That’s fine if your last name is Getty or Gates, but don’t these places realize we’re in a recession? Give me a decent red for $40. Why not? Delfina sells wines in all price categories so there’s something for non-wine snobs like me.
4.) Another reason I like Delfina: Roasted Fulton Valley chicken with olive oil and mashed potatoes and king trumpet mushrooms ($18.00); Wild nettle ravioli stuffed with Bellwether sheep’s milk ricotta and walnuts ($18.00) Salt cod mantecato with walnut oil and fennel seed flatbread ($10.50); and a wonderful homemade mozzarella with crostini ($10.00). That’s what I had there the other night and I’m still thinking about how good it was! And I didn’t go broke either!
5.) The people at Delfina are nice. I know that sounds kind of trite, but it’s so true. They make you feel welcome, and they put you in a relaxed mood immediately. I am so tired of the so-called “hip” places here in the city that specialize in ignoring you if you’re not Gavin Newsom or Barry Zito. Delfina treats everyone as if they were the Mayor or even an overpaid washed up major league pitcher.
3621 18th Street
San Francisco, CA