On Friday night, Stu, Rebecca and I headed out to Fillmore Street to try the nuovo Italiano from the A16 folks, S.P.Q.R. Unfortunately, S.P.Q.R. no longer stands for Senatus Populusque Romanus (the Senate and Roman people). It stands for "Sorry People, Quit Rushing." Thanks to the the no-reservations policy, when we arrived at 7:30 on a rainy night (a strategy that had worked brilliantly at Bar Jules) we were told the wait would be two hours. When did everyone get back into town? The city had been so nice with everyone gone on holiday.
So we headed up the street to Florio, where we were told the wait would be a mere hour. Sheesh! But as we stood by the hosts' stand contemplating our next move, all of a sudden a table became available and we were escorted to through the bustling bistro.
It had been ages since I'd been to Florio, and my memory and the reviews of the place were both decidedly mixed. But on Friday, Florio was mighty fine.
Ever since my visit to Centolire in New York I've been craving chicken liver, and Florio's pate with candied fruits was savory-sweet satisfaction.
I also tried some of Stu's toasted almonds -- skinned, oiled and seasoned, they were crunchy, scrumptious temptations.
You could rationalize that they're the "good fat" and eat so many you'd ruin your meal.
But we had steak frites coming, and nothing gets between me and my frites...
...except maybe one bite of Rebecca's Pappardelle Bolognese.
The Creekstone Farm hanger steak was expertly seasoned and grilled. It didn't even need the pat of maitre d' butter, so that went by the wayside (stomach real estate-wise) in favor of perfectly shaped, just-the-right-amount-of crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside french fries. The chopped parsley on touch was a nice visual garnish, but I kept worrying it was getting stuck in my teeth. That's never a good look, right darlings?
Then we enjoyed Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream and Florio's famous (according to them) Creme Caramel.
A sweet finish, but not the stuff of dreams. I'm reserving that title for the steak frites.
Florio | 1915 Fillmore between Pine and Bush | 415-775-4300 | www.floriosf.com