Restaurants & Bars

Cinecittá in North Beach - report

george | Nov 25, 200511:36 PM     1

Here is a report about Cinecittá in San Francisco’s North Beach. I have not been able to dine there – everything I have eaten so far has been ‘to go.’ The place is nicely decorated and has a comfortable feel. The oven overwhelms the ‘kitchen’ and I imagine that the place will sometime get uncomfortably warm, especially the seats in the rear. Also, there is a machine that looks like a gigantic pasta maker, which I am guessing is used for the dough.

The pizza at Cinecittá is wonderful and a great addition to North Beach. The pizzas are rectangular and cut into 4 pieces, and referred to as ‘Individual Pizzas’ on the menu. The pizzas have a somewhat crunchy cracker-thin crust, which is what I really like.

So far I have tried two pizzas: Boscailoa (sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella) and Capricciosa (artichoke, prosciutto, mozzarella, olives and eggs), the ham and ricotta calzone and the Caesar salad. Of the two pizzas, I liked the Capricciosa as the combination of ingredients worked so well. Neither pizza had tomato sauce, which is what I expected, but as staff made sure that I understood this I wonder if clients may have had issues with this. There were other pizzas on the menu that had tomato sauce. The ingredients were fresh on both pizzas, and the biggest problem seems to be the mozzarella they use – it just does not compare to that in Rome. Also, the Boscailoa pizza was lacking something – I wanted to put truffle oil or something on it. The calzone did not cook evenly – but I really enjoyed it and would order it again. It was not as big as the calzones I ate in New York as a young man, but the ham was very tasty and the ricotta was good. It comes with tomato sauce on top and a generous salad of mixed greens.

The Caesar salad was good and had lots of anchovy fillets. For my taste, it could have used a little more garlic, but I still enjoyed it and will be ordering it again as well. The salad portions are very generous.

For a medium-light meal my partner and I can split a pizza and a large salad and be satisfied.

Cinecittá also serves antipasti, panini, lasagna and desserts. A limited selection of beer and wine is also available.

The pizza prices range from $5.95 – $10.95, and you can ‘make your own’ pizza for $1 per item.
The salads range from $5.95 – $7.95 and this includes both serving sizes.

The staff are very friendly and helpful. I will be going back to Cinecittá soon.

Warning for those expecting a Roman pizza experience: I have to say it is definitely not Rome. Having eaten pizza several times in Rome I can say that Cinecittá pizza does not come close to anything there, but it is truly wonderful pizza.

The SF Bay Area is really bizarre pizza-wise. During my first 15 years here, I never found any pizza that I would call great. But in the last 10 years, Bay Area restaurants began trying to imitate the great pizzas of Italy instead of those of New York and Chicago. The result has been wonderful for us.

Cinecittá is located
663 Union St. (between Columbus and Powell)

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