Whether seated in Servino Ristorante's waterfront dining room or on its second-story patio, diners can feast their eyes on San Francisco's skyline and watch sailboats meander past Angel Island. The restaurant's inspiration, however, comes from a distant location: southern Italy. The resemblance is evident in everything from its rustic cuisine to the staff's hospitality.
Light from a wood-burning brick oven flickers in one corner of the kitchen, roasting pizzas topped with combinations such as cremini mushrooms and white-truffle oil or buffalo mozzarella and green garlic. Homemade pasta dishes and hearty seafood entrees round out the menu of trans-Atlantic comfort foods, which are complemented by wine or cocktails.
Though Servino Ristorante takes its inspiration from abroad, the spot keep things closer to home when it comes to sourcing. Chefs source the majority of their organic produce and humanely raised meats from sustainable suppliers in the area. In addition to accolades for its locally sourced cuisine, Servino received recognition from the California Green Business Program, which honored the eatery for its commitment to ecofriendly practices and energy-conservation efforts.
Named after the owner's uncle, who was a WWII vet, Rocco's Pizza doles out a menu of fresh Italian cuisine. Made-from-scratch dough is rolled daily into more than 15 styles of pizza, forming a foundation for the meat-free combination of greens that composes a gourmet vegetarian pie (12", $19.75) and a battlefield where pineapple, sausage, and garlic can trade zesty punches with steel-knuckled onions to create a spicy sausage special (16", $26.60). A dish of linguine ai frutti di mare ($11.95) catches a cluster of ocean clams and shrimp in its noodly net, and a meatball sandwich ($6.75) packs red sauce, meatballs, onions, and cheese into a french sweet-roll sleeping bag. Customers can check the rest of Rocco's menu for appetizers, fresh salads, and juicy beef or chicken burgers while kicking back in the causal pizzeria, which features a flat-screen TV and room for 50 diners to play musical chairs.
Extreme Pizza is not your run-of-the-mill, ma-and-pa pizza shop. Here, the cooks pile their house-baked crusts with a slew of uncommon combinations, including the ginger-peanut-sauce-marinated chicken strewn across the Kickin? Chicken pizza, which is also topped with peanuts, green onions, swiss, fontina, mozzarella, and fresh cilantro. The Paia Pie may seem standard with pineapple and Canadian bacon, but the addition of mandarin oranges and its mozzarella-cheddar blend make it more unique than a unicorn with two horns. As an alternative to the pies, freshly baked calzones, creatively loaded salads, monster subs, and chicken wings also populate the menu.
Generating 26.5 kilowatts, the solar panels atop Stefano's Solar Powered Pizza convert the sun’s rays into delicious pizza, earning the eatery recognition a Bay Area Green Business. Inside, ovens house pizzas such as the chicken garlic veggie pie or the Mill Valley favorite, known for its pepperoni, mushrooms, italian sausage, and firm handshakes. Calzones and hot sandwiches are sprinkled throughout the menu alongside fresh romaine salads, slices of pesto cheese garlic bread, and sips of wine or draft beer. Stefano's Solar Powered Pizza also helps with fundraising for schools, sports teams, and community organizations.
The San Francisco Chronicle highlighted Gaspare's Pizzeria Ristorante Bar in its "Pizza of the Week" feature in 2008, in part due to the cooks who "work the dough like artists" to create the 27 different pies. Owned and operated by Gaspare, Daniel, and Robin Indelicato since 1985, the flagship San Francisco location showcases a vintage flair. The dining room sports murals of Bay Area scenes and jukeboxes blasting Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin tunes. There’s even a ceiling draped with grapevines and bottles of chianti, which the servers trained to think they are bats. A second location opened in San Rafael in 2007. For his menu of Italian cuisine, Gaspare draws on his upbringing in Siculiana, Sicily, baking pans of bubbling lasagna alongside pizzas such as the feta-flecked mediterranean special. To round out meals, Robin Indelicato bakes her signature New York–style cheesecake and Italian-style tiramisu, which patrons may pair with espresso or a glass of imported Italian wine.
Since its first pizzeria opened in 1978 in Palo Alto, Mountain Mike’s Pizza has stretched to encompass more than 150 restaurants throughout the West Coast. From the meat-laden Pike’s Peak to the vegetarian-friendly Mt. Veggiemore, 12 specialty pizzas—most of them named after mountains—arrive in portions from small to extra large, which can feed up to eight patrons or spark nostalgia in homesick, city-dwelling mountain goats. Diners can also choose their own conglomeration of ingredients, ranging from Louisiana-style hot links to sun-dried tomatoes, and supplement pies with an all-you-can-eat salad bar or a quintet of appetizer options including wings and jalapeño poppers.