Two restaurants we’ve been keeping an eye on are open, both serving casual Italian food with an emphasis on wine, but with very different styles. Flour + Water, which opened Friday, serves wood-fired pizzas, antipasti, and mains in a large Mission district space built out with exposed reclaimed wood. Touches like stained glass windows and a curio cabinet give it something of the feel of an old-style laboratory, while the brick pizza oven imported from Italy reminds you of the place’s priority of excellent pizza.
About a mile north, 54 Mint opens for dinner tonight in Mint Plaza. It’s a sleek, small space operated by Il Buco founder Alberto Avalle. The emphasis here is on simple cuisine made with fanatically sourced ingredients. Cheeses, wines, olive oils, vinegars, and special tomatoes are imported from Italy, while many of the cured meats come from Spain. Avalle has said he’s looking for a low-key alternative to Il Buco, where he can, “stay relaxed and enjoy the weather, and make some food I love.” If he’s still relaxed after all the rounds of inspections, permits, and red tape required to open in this town, we’re going to guess opening night won’t phase him much.
54 Mint in Final Stages [MenuPages San Francisco]
Flour + Water to Open in Low-Key Victorian Splendor [MenuPages San Francisco]
[Photo: Via ’christopher/flickr’]