As everyone knows, Delfina exists forever and a day, loved by many, and has spawned Delfina Pizza. OG Delfina is temporarily closed for renovations, but they’ve set up a sizzling outdoor space with stoves and music, and use the kitchen at Delfina Pizza to prepare the same excellent food they’ve known for years. When the renovation is complete, the pizzeria and restaurant will be one — a much larger space with a pizza-to-go window. You can still order it to eat in the restaurant, but there will no longer be a separate covered pizza area. I’m excited to see the new interior, but we couldn’t pass up a lovely summer day to eat outside
We started with the focaccia – a crispy soft dream of bread, what other focaccia aspire to be.
Our waiter told us they hired a new pizza chef to work on their dough, and he produced fabulously light and practically pornographic focaccia. I ended up ordering a few fluffy slices of it for a weekend party, and it was quickly devoured.
Then, at our server’s adamant recommendation, the best deviled eggs I’ve ever had, period, without exception.
Made with a smoky whitefish aioli, even the seafood-averse BF was amazed at how glorious they were—creamy, gently smelling of the sea, studded with crispy capers. You must have this one.
Ahh, Agnolotti al Plin, those intoxicating, Piedmontese little packets of pasta, usually filled with roast meat and stock and squeezed shut. A delight in any form, but in combination with shaved black summer truffles – aromatic down to the last detail – and a wonderful fonduta? My God! The BF is not fond of truffles because he feels they dominate the food, but he couldn’t stop eating these. Rich and heavenly, and the fragrance! You want to dwell on this for a moment.
Next came the oxtail and risotto Milanese, which arrived separately.
Pieces of juicy meat on the bone, served in a hearty ragout with warming herbs, fat in all the right places. And then came the buttery, perfectly al dente risotto.
Blowing tantalizing wisps of aromatic cheese and butter to our nostrils, the silky grains of thick rice, studded with melting tender roasted garlic – we died and went to that great tavola in the sky. Easily the tastiest course of the evening, where every dish stood out. Our only complaint was that there wasn’t enough risotto as we wanted a delicious spoonful of it with every bite of that rich oxtail. We ended up with a ton of that fantastic meat, but scraped the risotto shell.
We had also ordered the red string beans sautéed with garlic, sage, sofritto and olive oil.
Easily the weakest dish, and yet if I had had that with a piece of their focaccia and a carafe of Chianti I would have been more than happy. Fleshy and firm, these beans are life-sustaining.
We got the pizza knowing we would taste and take the rest home for midnight snack/dinner tomorrow. Beautifully fresh, raw marinated cherry tomatoes, basil, ricotta salata – tangy, juicy, garlicky, with an incredibly light, crispy and flavorful crust – easily my favorite pizza around right now. (Sorry, Yellow Moto, but there’s room for all of you!) (Note: This particular pizza doesn’t travel well, as the fresh tomatoes seep into the crust and make it quite soggy. Eat it quickly!)
I had two of their cocktails, BF had a lager and we each had a glass of wine – Chianti for him and the Valpolicella for me – wish they had more red wines by the glass but these two were excellent. The menu changes seasonally and I can’t wait to try their stuffed artichokes, the clam and carbonara pizza, saffron arancini, the gnocchi, everything! Online you can order Pizza Delfina provisions – frozen meatballs, pizza dough, lemon vinaigrette, sauces…abondanza!
How has it been so many years since I’ve been here? As one of our premier Italian restaurants this must return regularly. It’s like visiting old friends and family.