701 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9413337.801204 -122.411452
Very pricey place for ok food and curt service – We heard about this place on Check Please Bay Area and have liked some of the other places featured on this show. We did read the reviews here before we went there, and so were prepared for most everything we encountered. We made a reservation, they were pretty good about getting back to us since we had to leave a message for the reservation.
We were give a choice of two tables, one is far back on at the entrance, we chose the one near the entrance since it was by the window and therefore brighter.. that took care of the darkness and cramped feeling.
Flora was not too pushy with us, actually I think she was a bit floored by my assertiveness and did not trying pushing anything on us, including the wine... in fact she agreed with my choice. Of course it was a $15 wine that was on the wine list for $45.
The food was good, nothing spectacular but the portions were really incredibly small for the price. The portions are the right size if you have two courses, they just cost about 20% more than you think they should cost. And none of the food really wowed us, especially since I make Italian food at home all the time. The ingredients are good, and it's ok but we will never go there again since it was not worth the money we spent there.
Flora is an interesting person, crabby and curt especially if it is not obvious that you REALLY want to eat there. If you have a reservation, she's ok since it means you planned on eating there. If you are a walk-in and she tells you it's a wait and you say I MAY be back.. she gets snippy and rude. Since we were at the entrance, we saw this happen several times.
Bottomline... it's ok.. not worth the big bucks they charge, for the rude service. If you are a regular that she knows by name you get treated differently. Don't think it's worth my time and money trying to get to that level in life, I have better things to do and food to try out.
Great Food, Rude Service – I have to agreet with some of the reviews here: the service was incredibly bad. The food was delicious, especially the cuttle fish ink risotto; however, it could not dilute the bad taste left by the rude service we received.
If you are the type that can ignore the quality of the service and just focus on food, I recommend this restaurant. But if you can't, don't give yourself a chance to have an evening ruined.
Best Trattoria In North Beach – These folks operate a fine little restaurant serving an always changing menu - handwritten daily - of Italian (and a few Hungarian) specialties. The room is perfect, tiny and gorgeous, and seems sort of out of place on Columbus. They serve perhaps the best gnocchi in the city, made with sweet potato in a cream sauce with bits of crispy pancetta. The appetizer portion is small, so get it for yourself and don't let anyone else near it, or ask for an entree portion. Don't waste the sauce, get it with some of the unbelievable housemade focaccia. The pastas run good to great, usually standing up to the best the city has to offer. The other dishes are more varied, with typically more than one seafood choice, with more pluses than minuses. Beautiful salume, and the risotto often excels. This is not spaghetti and meatballs, and not pizza, so check out the menu outside before committing. ...also, wines are limited but well-chosen.
Note: The proprietors are VERY nice people, but Flora in particular does not suffer fools (or boors) lightly, and can be brusque. Best to ingratiate yourself and show some manners, the payoff is well worth it. (And shouldn't we all be doing that anyway?)
Da Flora or Da Rip-off? – We are locals, but had guests visiting and we decided to try this place out. Unlike other reviewers, our service was too fast...almost like they were rushing us, to turn over the table quickly. When we asked about beer, we received the evil eye and a short "No beer, only wine" reply. Food was alright, small portions and definitely not worth what they charge. I swear the only way this place stays in business is because of it's location. It's a shame that the staff is so miserable that it taints everything else that clould be charming about this place. I hope they read their reviews or get a lesson in real Italian hospitality!
best gnocchi,best pistachio dessert – little pearl in the madness of non authentic Italian food of North Beach. I recommend their creamy gnocchi (to die for, note very small portion). Orecchiette with greens, like the real authentic thing you would get in Ialy. Go for the pistachio dessert you will still dream about that for days and days...wine is expensive but they have a great selection. Go there for the food and the Venetian ambiance not for being treated like a king/queen
A birthday let down – No dining experience will raise one's expectations like a birthday dinner. I was excited when my wife told me we were going to Da Flora for mine as this was one of the few Italian restaurants we hadn't visited in the near decade we've lived in S.F.
We were initially charmed by the devoted Venetian decor. Having traveled throughout Italy revelling in the regional cuisine, we were excited to be transported back to the location of our engagement!
European service is slow for a reason. The relaxed pace is consistent with the culture. This should not be confused with forgetting about you, which is happened to us at Da Flora. 15 minutes after the first server brought us our bottle of wine, a second server unapologetically asked us if anyone had taken our order yet. Incidently, the most affordable bottle of wine is in the $45 range, unfortunate for a country famous for its reasonable Chiantis. We shared a bruschetta appetizer which was tasty.
Back to the service...I had to ask two different servers for a glass of water.
We had the pork bolognese and pesto linguine entrees. Both were prepared nicely.
Back to the service...I had to ask two different servers for more bread. I should note that I'm really not that impatient and will wait up to 10 minutes before my second request.
The last straw was dessert. The restaurant knew it was my birthday as my wife informed them in advance. After our empty plates sat on the table for at least 10 minutes, our original server returned, offered dessert, then later delivered it without even a candle. I could tell my wife was embarrased. So much for a "special celebration."
As the server returned with the signed credit card receipt, she patted my shoulder and said, "oh, by the way...happy birthday."
This was a fitting finale for the very lackadaisical attitude we experienced the entire evening.
Overall the food was good, however, if you're looking for a pleasant experience to compliment good food...look elsewhere.
An authentic North Beach trattoria dishes out traditional Italian cuisine in an elegant dining room. – In Short
This unpretentious trattoria sits in a North Beach corner storefront. Tables covered with white tablecloths and a handful of Italian tchotchkes outfit the modest dining room, which is blessed with big windows that overlook busy Columbus Avenue. The menu changes frequently based on seasonal availability and the chef's whims. Highlights in the past have included pasta tossed with an anchovy sauce, and a spicy penne all'arrabbiata studded with fresh sausage.
Superb Pasta dish and wonderful wine – We rate this as one of our favourite restaurants - having arrived in from Australia that morning, we were looking for a special place for our wedding anniversary dinner - we stumbled across Da Flora....what a wonderful experience - the pasta was perfect (what WAS in that sauce?), the crisp white wine from Alsace was superb and the setting sublime - 5 years later we still rave about Da Flora and can't wait to return...while Australia is blessed with beautiful food and wine, Da Flora still stands out as a wonderful place for dinner - well done - we hope to be back soon!
a truly European experience. great food – not for someone who likes silly waiters. Great food kept simple. The experience is amazing.
the wine is to die for if you are a fan of Italy
Quiet Elegance in North Beach – Da Flora is a hidden gem in North Beach. It is quiet and unpretentious, with a unique handwritten menu. The sweet potato gnocchi with sherry cream sauce is one of the best dishes I have eaten anywhere- ever! Even a simple salad of greens with a few shavings of parmesean was delicious and satisfying. We walked in early on a Saturday night and were able to get a romantic little table for 2 with no reservation. The service was casual and friendly, but very professional. Overall, a great experience.
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