If your dad is in town looking for some "Italian" food and his culinary prowess is mostly defined by pan-cooked hamburgers and the suburban neighborhood bistro, Rose Pistola will blow his mind. Throw in his old college buddy who happens to live here in a rent-controlled apartment from the 70s, and you're in business. For out-of-towners and parents, Rose's can be the jam - the food is great and bright lights mean you can actually read the menu. It's not our favorite place to use up a meal, but we'll take one for the team for the happiness of our visitors. (And by visitors, I mean my dad.)
The food here is almost exactly the same as the much smaller, cozier vibes of sister restaurant Terzo in the Marina, plus pizza very similar to that you'll find at the trio's ugly step-sister Rose’s on Steiner St. In fact, some of the food at Rose Pistola might even be better than the western outposts. But the gigantic space in North Beach is a capital "O" Operation, unlike the two sister spots on Steiner. The restaurant can seat over 100 people, and you can tell that the team here is used to cranking out hundreds of dishes a night and throwing plates of delicious free focaccia on every table as they run by. Your order will be taken as soon as you have a chance to say, "Holy sh*t a pork chop costs $36" and your free bread will pop up instantly.
With all of this come vibes that are a little more Carrabba’s than classic Italian bistro. This is mostly fine - after all, you’re in North Beach. Just don’t expect a romantic meal, mood lighting, or seamless service from end to end. Dad is perfectly happy crushing a personal order of artichokes.
These guys are bomb. Not too oily and clearly haven’t been sitting in a can for an undetermined number of years. Citrusy, herby delight. Get some for the table.
Arugula & Pine Nut Salad
The best salad on the menu, perfect to share. Also fresh apricots aren’t usually in salads, and they should be. We like where Rose’s head is at.
Prosciutto di Parma
We would like to invent a parallel universe where this exact dish is a major part of the food pyramid. Or rhombus. Or whatever shape we use nowadays. Two hearty toasts with insanely creamy burrata, prosciutto and balsamic. Don’t feel bad getting a second order.
Almonds, green salsa, awesome. We would like a bigger portion with more squid. It’s good.
Much like the meatballs at Terzo, just mini. Nothing crazy, but exactly what you want from a small meat orb.
Ricotta-Black Truffle Ravioli
Light while somehow also rich. Unfortunately pretty bland - which is hard to pull of when using truffles.
Salty, chewy crust, well-spiced sausage and broccoli to balance it out - this is definitely our favorite pizza on the menu.
My dad, and probably your dad, can make a lot better swordfish on the grill. Unsubscribe.