Five years ago my friend Averyl and I began a dining excursion game. As two Bay Area natives we felt that we weren’t fully experiencing what the city had to offer either going to favorite childhood restaurants or tried and true places in our neighborhoods. Alphabet Dining allowed us the ability to explore, with some structure and form. We initially thought this would take us a year or so (I like to say we are in our seventh inning stretch as we’ve taken a year+ hiatus due to a baby and a wedding!) but the concept is so timeless that we’ve been able to pick up right where we left off.
The concept is easy: we can’t go to a place that either has dined at before (in any kind of capacity including late night takeout which we both realized we had done when we got to “e”!), it must be for dinner, and we must dine alphabetically– so our first restaurant had to start with an A, the second with a B and so on. Easy in theory but Q is proving to be quite hard and surprisingly N had us stumped for some time (probably due to baby, moving, etc.) Instead of starting over for the sake of this blog or listing the prior places we’ve dine at, I thought I’d jump right in, which brings us to P: Pearl 6101
I’ve been meaning to make my way out to the Richmond district in SF to try the newest offering from the 211 Pizzette team. It’s in a converted pharmacy with tiled flooring, warm lighting and cozy chestnut leather booths lining the interior. The open wood fired oven in back and marble countertops at the bar welcome you in like an old friend.
The menu consists of a California meets Mediterranean flair with some fun seafood twists. The oysters are delicious — garnished with a handmade hot sauce of pureed Fresno chiles. The halibut crudo was my favorite– the combination of thinly julienned serrano chiles, sliced strawberries and crushed marcona almonds was delicious.
Their pastas are made in-house and change with the season. We were able to snag some potato gnocchi with truffle butter (can’t go wrong here!!) But the real winner of the night was the white handkerchief pasta— I’ve never had white Bolognese before but it seriously tasted like a tomato ragu but without the tomato!
I’m not normally a sweet person but any kind of pie makes my mouth water. The handpie was the perfect serving size– think a modern take on a pop tart served with salted lemon ricotta ice cream.
Definitely a place to repeat– their brunch menu looks phenomenal as well. This restaurant is sure to be a new neighborhood favorite if it’s not already. Stay tuned for Q… up for any suggestions out there!