Sunday was a day in San Francisco, which we spent going to the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park, looking for Magnolia trees in bloom. It turns out it’s a bit early, even here in sunny California, so we didn’t see a LOT of blooms. OK, there weren’t many. But one thing I like about Magnolia trees (specifically, the ones called ‘Tulip Trees’) is how the branches and trunk look relatively delicate, and the sparseness of the branches with the beautiful pink and white flowers coming out, it’s somehow architectural or something. I love it.
Anyway, after searching the Gardens for Magnolia trees for awhile, then stopping by Ocean Beach, watching beautiful waves, smelling the sea air, and being amazed by the kite surfers, we decided to stop for an early dinner in the City. We couldn’t find our favorite Vietnamese place, wondering if it closed, so we decided to give a new place a try. Not new, but new to us. The restaurant was Bella Trattoria, which we saw it covered on ‘Check Please, Bay Area‘ awhile ago, and when they talked about how good the gnocchi was, I knew I had to try it, sooner or later. We got there just when they were opening, so we had our choice of tables. The waiter was very friendly and outgoing, and was very informed about the menu and the wine list.
I am a super duper fan of gnocchi, so anytime I hear that a place has good gnocchi, I have to have it. So there was no question about what I would order. Except, actually, that there were two gnocchi dishes on the menu. What’s a girl to do? Order the dish with Gorgonzola, obviously. You’d be an idiot to not do the same. Not that others are idiots, because I’ve heard that a lot of menu items are really good. But for me, it’s gnocchi. So I went for the gnocchi verdi, which was spinach gnocchi with mushrooms and a Gorgonzola sauce.
(I didn’t take pictures…so these are taken from the internets…)
Photo found here.
Here’s a pic of my absolutely delicious gnocchi verdi. The gnocchi was light and pillowy, and made me want to try to figure out how to make spinach gnocchi at home, rather than buying the frozen or vacuum packed versions. The Gorgonzola sauce had just the right amount of Gorgonzola, not too tangy, but delicious. The mushrooms balanced the dish perfectly. Wow, that was good. I might have trouble ordering anything else here.
Ted’s was a squid ink spaghetti with seafood that looked a lot like this, except there was more variety of seafood, and the pasta was thinner. Photo found here.
The only bad thing about this dish was a matter of taste, I think. The shrimp in the dish were shell on, which gives the shrimp and sauce more flavor, but makes it a bit more messy to eat. The spaghetti was squid ink…Ted said that the flavors of the seafood overpowered the spaghetti, so he’s not sure that squid ink tastes a lot different, but it was all a delicious treat.
Photo found here.
Maya had the rigatoni with Italian sausage and a cream tomato sauce, which she said was very good. She’s fairly discriminating with her pasta, so I’m glad that she enjoyed it as much as she did. I would have expected her to order the butternut squash ravioli, as we have had that at home before, but she wasn’t in the mood for that. Perhaps too sweet.
Overall, I would highly recommend ‘Bella Trattoria’ to anyone living in the area, or anyone visiting San Francisco who wants to get out of the Union Square, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Fillmore Street areas. There are plenty of wonderful restaurants there, but sometimes it’s nice to go out into the Avenues and try something a bit different. Yum. I hope we go back, and not TOO far into the future.