Source: Ristobar

A group of friends and I randomly came across a restaurant called Ristobar in the Marina district of San Francisco.  It was truly a nice surprise, especially since we were out to celebrate a birthday and almost settled on a good but run-of-the-mill chain restaurant down the street.

Management describes it like this:  “In Italy, ristobars are casual, comfortable neighborhood gathering places where friends and family convene to conversate, eat, and drink.” Sounds good to me. As soon as we walked in I was excited. The dark browns of the interior and the open layout of the floor plan created a sophisticated feel without looking stuffy or pretentious.

The restaurant has a long bar on one side that seems perfect for after-work drinks or having a cocktail while waiting for a table. We were seated at a long table and immediately attended to by out waiter.

So much on the menu looked delicious but our group decided to order a bunch of individual-sized pizzas. To get things started we ordered green olives, bread and of course, wine! Something that really impressed me about the service we received was the fact that our waiter returned to our table after putting our order in to suggest that we not get the bread since we had ordered all those pizzas. Why didn’t we think of that? And how often do waiters recommend against ordering anything?

The pizzas come oval-shaped, flat and delicious with just the right amount of toppings. As soon as they arrived we dug right in (we also started trading slices with each other). We gobbled it up pretty quickly (which is saying a lot, since I am usually a slow eater). I’m looking forward to going back to Ristobar to try some of the other great looking items on the menu, particularly the gnocchi with gorgonzola dolce latte and Sicilian pistachio.

The details:


2300 Chestnut Street

San Francisco