This Saturday, M. and I wanted to see friends we hadn’t seen in a while, we called J. and M. to meet us out for dinner at Zero Zero in the South of Market area at 826 Folsom Street in San Francisco. Choosing the restaurant was a last minute decision and doing so on a Saturday night during Fleet Week can by tricky. We wanted to go somewhere casual because M. and I were in very relaxed clothes and didn’t have time to go home and change and we wanted somewhere we could get in without a reservation or waiting for a long time. Zero Zero met those criteria.
J. and M. were waiting at the bar for us when we arrived. Right after we ordered drinks, we were seated. Our table was upstairs and was a high table with stools. Perfect! It was against the wall with great views of the restaurant. Almost immediately our waitress came over and checked on our drinks and offered us the specials of the evening.
The four of us hadn’t seen each other since M. and I were married so J. and M. were eager to hear about our wedding and honeymoon. Zero Zero turned out to be the perfect place for us to catch up. The atmosphere is lovely. It feels intimate but lively with the perfect lighting – not too bright but not too dark. There is a buzz in the room but it’s not too loud.
For starters, we ordered crispy salt cod cakes, an heirloom tomato, cucumber, pickled onion and avocado panzanella salad and chilled organic beets with Farro, toasted pistachios and Saba. The panzanella salad was a delicious combination of tomatoes with crispy cucumber. The beets with Farro were an interesting combination and a little disappointing to me, especially since I choose it. I didn’t try the cod but it looked good with a mizuna and fennel salad and a red pepper marmalade. My M. had some and liked it – especially because he loves red peppers.
For dinner our two husbands ordered the same pizza – the Castro, which comes topped with Sopressata, a house-made sausage, mozzarella, and basil. M. and I shared the seasonal pizza of the day, which was plenty. The special pizza of the day was topped with Matsutake mushrooms and pine needles. Matsutake mushrooms grow at the base of pine trees and have a symbiotic relationship, which results in a delicious combination with cooked together. The combination was tasty but not out of this world.
Now, I love my pizza especially Napolitano pizzas and lucky for me San Francisco has a growing number of upscale pizza places and Zero Zero is one to add to the list. However, it is not at the top of my list (I’ll write about that a different time)! Coincidentally, the San Francisco Chronicle Food & Wine section wrote a great review about Zero Zero in this Sunday’s edition. Michael Bauer gives a much more robust review about the restaurant’s menu options that include various pastas and a soft serve dessert menu.
We skipped dessert for this round but enjoyed some great drinks. M. had the chance to try another version of the Pimm’s Cup. Zero Zero’s version is a spiced Pimm’s Cup. He enjoyed it and was happy to find another restaurant that offers it on the regular drink menu.
I recommend stopping in to Zero Zero if you’re in the mood for a good pizza! Our total bill for three pizzas, three starters and several drinks was $131 without tip.
Call Zero Zero for reservations at 415-348-8800.