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Fiorella

PHOTOS: Krescent Cassaro

Sometimes, when new restaurants open, they overdo it. They have chandeliers for no reason, or the chairs look cool but are horribly uncomfortable. Or they reinvent avocado toast with fava bean paste and people revolt.

Fiorella, new to the Richmond, brings expensive pizza to Clement Street - but manages to do so gracefully and humbly, in a modern and fun way. It’s not over the top or trying too hard. It’s just good. Welcome to the neighborhood.

Judging by the buzz inside, it’s clear that people are happy to have a place like Fiorella around. The restaurant gets the details right: the waiters are quick and give good recommendations, and food comes out at appropriately timed intervals. The place is decorated with black and white wallpaper covered in little portraits of famous San Francisco people - it all feels a little irreverent in a way that fits in with the medley of places along Clement Street.

Krescent Cassaro

The crowd is locals of all ages, but we like Fiorella especially for a double date or dinner with a few friends so you can get lots of stuff to share. The wood-fired crusts on the pizzas are excellent and the small plates and pastas, especially the cacio e pepe, are also worth your time. If you can’t get a reservation and you don’t feel like waiting for a table, you can get your pizzas to go – the takeout game at Fiorella runs strong all night.

With its exclusively San Francisco beer list, friendly staff, local celeb wallpaper, and neighborly crowd, it’s easy to feel like Fiorella is already as much of a city institution as the Bush Man (RIP). If you live in the area, or if you don’t and are looking to hit up a new hood and eat some pizza that competes with some of the best in the city, get Fiorella on your list.

Food Rundown

Arugula Salad

The dressing on this can best be described as aggressive. Too much lemon and too much balsamic overpowers everything else. Do less.

Asparagus Milanese

You must order this. The asparagus is crazy fresh and the fried egg on top brings it all together.

Wood Fired Octopus

Four pieces of very well-roasted octopus. It’s meaty and the tentacles are charred to a crisp at the ends. This is great.

Cacio e Pepe

Heavy on the pepper, nicely al dente, and the standout dish a recent visit. Your table should get this.

Green, Egg and Ham Pie

Salty ricotta, roasted leeks, and pancetta come together for an awesome combination on this white pizza. There’s only one egg, so it can get a little tense at the table when it’s sitting alone on one slice of pizza. Break egg first, consume pizza second.

Margherita Pizza

The base crust is thin and crisp, the edge crust is pillowy and addictive, and the sauce is slightly sweet. We could go for a little more cheese, but we’d definitely order this again.

Brunch

Brunch is a great time to hit Fiorella. The menu has some of the same pastas and pizzas as the dinner menu, plus some solid egg-centric dishes.

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