Old Standby Now a Local Gem

Although Florio is an old reliable in CarrieWas218's neighborhood restaurant rotation, she's always found it not that interesting, just solid home cooking. But on a recent visit, it seemed the kitchen had upped its game.

A salad of shaved fennel, anchovies, and pomelos is "fresh and innovative," while squash soup with wild mushrooms is creamy, rich and engaging. Then there's the Berkshire pork Milanese. "Pounded thin like a veal cutlet, for $19 this dish was astonishingly good; tender, moist, and with a great crust, possibly made with the addition of panko for extra crunchiness. I was a bit jealous I hadn't ordered the dish myself," Carrie says. It comes with mustard sauce, housemade sauerkraut, and fingerling potatoes.

Carrie's Totten Inlet mussels, though, were more than satisfying, huge and richly flavored. The broth is white-wine based, but the addition of a garlicky aioli takes it over the top. "I have a new fondness and respect for Florio," Carrie says. "And a last word on service: Exemplary."

But it seems that consistency, or maybe large groups, is not Florio's forte. PulledPork briefly details a recent disappointing meal for 10: "Boring flavors, overcooked meats, and pastas that fell far short of those offered all over SF these days."

Florio Bar & Cafe [Pacific Heights]
1915 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

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