Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pinsa; Merguez

YESTERDAY WE WERE down in San Francisco, as we seem so often to be, looking at art and, of course, finally eating. We'd skipped lunch for lack of time, so had a very early supper at a place I've been curious about.

A pinsa, it turns out, is a sort of foccaccia, a flat savory pastry laden with whatever you think you'd like and cooked in an oven. A sort of pizza, in fact. It's a Roman dish, they say: it's odd that in all the time we've spent in Rome we've never run into it.

At this particular pinseria the dough is made with a blend of rice, soy, and wheat flours, all imported from Rome. I ordered the Centocelle, named for a quarter of Rome we haven't visited but certainly will one day: it was loaded with tomato, mozzarella, artichokes, mushroom, olives, hard-boiled-egg, and prosciutto di parma, and it was very very very delicious. With it, a simple mixed green salad.

     🍷Aglianico del Vulture “Gricos,” Grifalco (Basilicata), 2014
No need to speak English here: this is a simple place; you'd have thought you were in an Italian province. Dark, cluttered with nostalgic old furnishings, in a dubious alley between Mission and Market. I can't wait to go back.

Montesacro Pinseria-Enoteca, 510 Stevenson Street, San Francisco; 📞(415) 795-3040

Eastside Road, February 10, 2018—
TONIGHT WE DINED at home, and it was one of the best dinners I've had in weeks. Cook found a couple of lamb sausages in the freezer, sausages our son had brought, made from lamb from his own animals, nothing but lamb and very thoughtfully mixed spices including coriander.

This gave Cook the idea of something North African or perhaps Middle Eastern. She charred and peeled two green bell peppers and two red ones, cut them into strips, and sautéed them in olive oil with onion and garlic, flavoring them with paprika, red pepper flakes and a bay leaf. The result couldn't be bettered.

Green salad; a tangerine.

     🍷Cinsault, Preston of Dry Creek, 2014 — an absolutely perfect match to the dish

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

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