As many of you know, we recently took a trip home to San Francisco. Nick lives in the East Bay just across the water, which has some amazing restaurants and gets nice and warm in the summer! His mom suggested we try Piccolo Napoli for dinner - read on to hear about our day and find out why dinner was such a hit!
Lounging by Nick's refreshing pool and his mom's lovely garden in their backyard with some delicious pink lemonade before dinner. This is something that would be tough to do in SF, since it tends to be foggy and chilly there, but the East Bay luckily is close by and gets more of that California sunshine!
Catching up on my magazines which I bought for the flight, but ended up watching back-to-back movies instead! I find movies to be more distracting than reading which is beneficial since I don't like flying too much. This article was especially interesting - it's all about the "Instagram Diet" and was painfully accurate from my perspective as an Instagram foodie. It brought up some all-too-relatable points, such as re-taking a picture of your meal because of a stray crumb, or because your hand cast a shadow on the plate. It made me thankful for my patient friends and family who allow "the camera to eat first," as one blogger so fittingly put it to me one day. Speaking of...
Piccolo Napoli is a testament to the locally-sourced, all-natural ingredients which are so ubiquitous in the Bay Area food scene. Just to name a few of their fresh ingredients: house made pizza sauce from whole California pear tomatoes (San Marazano style), house made pine-nut pesto sauce, Niman Ranch sausage, local pepperoni, and Mary’s hormone free sustainable chicken. Plus, you can get your pizza or pasta made gluten-free here, which is perfect for me! You honestly, literally cannot tell that they are gluten free, and the fresh ingredients really shine.
As their website states, this is not fast food. Staying true to Italian tradition, Piccolo Napoli never use frozen dough - each and every piece of dough has been hand made over three days before it hits your plate!
I got the gluten-free pesto pizza, which comes in 10" and includes delicious house made pesto sauce, pine nuts, mozzarella, Parmesan, and grape tomatoes. It was so incredible! The pine nuts were a healthy, earthy addition, and were offset by the refreshing grape tomatoes. This pie left me full but without that bloated I-ate-too-much feeling - you can really tell the difference when you eat something that is full of such natural and local ingredients!
Above is the gluten-free puttanesca pasta, with tomatoes, olives, Sicilian anchovies, garlic, chili flakes, and olive oil. This one was so scrumptious as well.
Be warned: their calzones are massive! Above pictured is just HALF of one - they split the order!
Piccolo Napoli is an underrated restaurant that goes above and beyond in their healthy ingredients and delicious dishes. They have a few indoor tables, but I recommend sitting on their outdoor patio with heat lamps for some great people-watching in this family neighborhood. Since they do make each pizza by hand, expect to wait around 30 minutes for your pie to arrive. You can combat this by calling ahead or trying some of their starters, like their signature tomato bisque, antipasto salad, or bruschetta flatbread. It's definitely worth a trip across the Bay!
Comment Challenge: What's your favorite Italian dish?