Once an unassuming neighborhood café, Piccino has become a Dogpatch neighborhood destination since moving to a new (and larger) space in late May. On sunny weekend afternoons, light floods through its raft of west-facing windows. In the center of the minimalist dining room, a long communal table holds a wooden bowl cradling bright lemons. This approachable, no-frills vibe extends to the kitchen, where Rachel Sillcocks turns out simple, satisfying Italian-inspired dishes presented with a minimum of fussiness. While the pizzas don’t quite share the dramatically bubbly, thoroughly charred crusts that seem to be de rigueur for the city’s popular pizza spots these days, Piccino’s crust is flavorful and chewy with a satisfying crunch; salads like the little gem and marinated cucumber salad enlivened with nutty fried capers and a juniper-infused dressing provide a lovely, understated starting point. Wayne Garci, husband of co-owner Sher Rogat, builds Piccino’s wine list mostly from selections he sells next door at his DIG wine shop—which explains the focus on artisanal French and Italian wines. Head for the fleshy yet rainwater-clean pinot nero bianco from Vercesi del Castellazzo in Lombardy, or spring for a bottle of the vibrant and sunny COS Frappato. Since Dogpatch is a bit out of the way, you may as well make an afternoon of it. Grab a cup of coffee at Piccino’s attached coffee stand, browse the shelves at DIG and, if kids are in the picture, walk two blocks east to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous for ice cream cones.
1001 Minnesota St., San Francisco, California
This story appears in the print issue of October 2011.
Like what you read? Subscribe today.