Beretta: Celebrating Independence Day with Cocktails + Pizza

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Pizza San Francisco

Chef-owner Ruggero Gadaldi struck culinary gold (or at least silver) on Polk with Antica and Pesce. In April 2008, he opened a stylish pizza-driven Italian restaurant called Beretta in the Mission District, in the former home of the Last Supper Club. He’s clearly tapped into the scene, offering great cocktails, Italian comfort food and a blackbird sign so stylish that it’s been stolen twice.

The well-stocked bar features multiple bowls of fresh citrus and glasses of fresh herbs. With a set-up that colorful and enticing, cocktails might as well be mandatory.

Cocktails San Francisco
Beretta’s bartender was rocking two Boston shakers and mutton chops, but he wasn’t just about flash. He also produced two excellent cocktails ($9 apiece). The effervescent Airmail combined rum, honey, lime and prosecco. The Lonsdale was sweeter and pulpier, utilizing gin, apple, lemon, basil and honey. Both cocktails were well-balanced and refreshing.

Italian Food San Francisco
The antipasti ($6 each) were clearly the highlight from a food perspective. The atypical eggplant caponatina incorporated supple strips of roasted eggplant, tomatoes, green olives and a creamy pepper-dusted dollop of burrata ($3 extra).

Italian Food San Francisco
Zucchini parmigiana was a simple but satisfying starter, featuring thin-sliced zucchini, sweetly acidic tomato sauce and bubbling, browned scamorza – aged mozzarella.

Italian Food San Francisco
Beretta’s meatballs may have been a tick too dense, but paired well with tomato sauce and grilled bread brushed with olive oil.

Italian Food San Francisco
Beretta’s fritto misto di pesce ($13) was a good version of the Amalfi classic, featuring thin-sheathed shrimp, calamari and asparagus, all dippable in zesty tomato sauce.

Pizza San Francisco
Spicy Italian sausage, panna & spring onion ($14) pizza was definitely spicy and flavorful, but the crust was lackluster, with no distinctive flavor or pliability.

Pizza San Francisco
The pizza with grilled vegetables, tomato, pesto & mozzarella ($12) was slightly better thanks to thin, expertly-grilled sheets of eggplant, asparagus and lashings of pesto.

Beer Float San Francisco
For dessert, we split a Hitachino Espresso Stout ice cream float ($9). The flavor was good, especially when our scoop of panna gelato melted into the rich, malty beer. Unfortunately, the ratio was off-kilter, with too much gelato and not enough beer.

Some tastes were better than others, but Gadaldi clearly understands what it takes to to please discriminating San Franciscans. Antica, Pesce and Beretta are all going strong, and he has two more concepts in the works with Adriano Paganini and Deborah Blum, a Marina “beerzeria” and a Castro spot called Starbelly.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Ah. Tried to go here when I was up in SF but lines were out the door and couldn’t squeeze in a bar space for lil ole me. Next time, for sure . . .

They don’t do a good job of publicizing it, but they also serve Ritual Coffee, via French Press. I’ve never tried it there since I paid the bill before figuring it out. Of course, it’s just a few blocks down from Ritual proper so the better choice may be to just walk down the street for your after lunch/dinner coffee.

I didn’t know that Beretta serves Ritual, but it makes sense to stick with a neighborhood favorite. Thanks for the head’s up.

I’m normally at coffeehouses at least twice a day, so in general, I don’t order coffee in restaurants.

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