How 20-Year-Old Delfina Changed the Course of San Francisco Dining

Nov 23, 2018 293

BY: Caleb Pershan

The success and endurance of pioneering San Francisco restaurant Delfina might come down to a bowl of spaghetti: a humble, eternal dish served with warmth and simplicity night after night. It still makes chef Craig Stoll marvel. “Our most famous dish is spaghetti with tomato sauce,” he says with pride and a little wonder. “But hey, if you want to come to a neighborhood restaurant, what do you want? You want a roast chicken, a steak, a bowl of spaghetti, a glass of wine.”

After 20 years on 18th Street, a James Beard Award for Best Chef Pacific, the opening of Valencia Street sister restaurant Locanda, and four Pizzeria Delfina locations (with a fifth on the way), Delfina is a lot more than a neighborhood restaurant. But for Craig and partner Annie Stoll, the front-of-house force behind Delfina, thinking of their restaurant as a dining room for locals, and treating all guests like neighbors, has kept their business alive.

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