I don't know what's more difficult - getting a table in under 2 hours or enough light to take a proper photo?
After a dozen visits to the temple of wood-fired flour+water, I finally got both. And once again, when this showed up at my table, I was reminded why no one seems to care about the wait. If it's Neapolitan-style pizza you gotta have - with toppings like potato, pancetta, fontina & rosemary, this is the place you gotta go.
Well, you can also go to this place, the sister restaurant and start of it all - but the line will not be any shorter. Michael Bauer declared it worth it back in 2005, and here we are 8 years later still willing to wait, and wait some more.
You can't chalk those crowds up to newcomer buzz either. Pizzaiolo has been open for 8 years and Boot & Shoe for 2. There's a line out the door every night for one reason - consistency. Consistency in top-notch ingredients, consistency in artisan cocktails, consistency in the über-hip crowd and last, but certainly not least - consistency in that incredible pizza dough.
There's lots of emphasis on pizza here because that's what this guy really perfected after an 8 year stint at the famed Chez Panisse, but the rest of the menu is equally perfect. The asparagus and burrata with black olive tapenade will have you hounding every cheese shop in town for details on their burrata delivery.
The antipasti, the pasta, anything roasted in that wood oven - beef short ribs with cannellini beans, baby leeks and salsa verde, and the incredible desserts - Straus vanilla soft serve with burnt caramel sauce and sea salt. Like I said, it is all consistently delicious.
But you do not have to take my word for it. Those crowds tell you what you need to know.
And speaking of need to know, Inside Scoop SF tells us there's another Hallowell outpost in the works. Add it to the wait list.