We pretty regularly fantasize about what life would be like if we lived in Italy. We’d drink lots of espresso at tables in pretty piazzas, fully embrace the concept of an institutionalized nap, and most importantly - we’d eat a bowl of pasta every day. Barzotto, a new pasta bar in the Mission, does almost everything it can to keep our fantasy alive, with one small hitch: an Italian-style, leisurely meal this is not.
But first, for the good news. If you live in the neighborhood, Barzotto is about to become your go-to place. No reservations, pop in and join the line, order a few pastas and a salad and bottle of wine, eat up and peace out. It’s very un-intimidating, especially on the wine front, where glasses are $10, bottles are $40, and all of them are excellent. You can grab some soft serve on the way out and even some fresh-made pasta to make at home. All in all, it’s a cool concept with a gorgeous design.
As for the food itself - it’s excellent. From the not even slightly boring little gem salad to the cacio e pepe to the porchetta platter, everything we’ve tasted here has been terrific. Portions are big and perfect to share, and this is some of the best pasta we’ve had in a long time.
There’s only one real problem. Since the pasta is so good and the space is so nice, there are a lot of people here. Last time we visited the line was out the door, and the food was rushed out so they could turn tables quickly. When everything you order comes out in the span of ten minutes, and you consider putting a dish in your lap to make more table room, something’s a little off. Or we may just have a problem with over-ordering.
If you’ve been harboring an Italian dream life, Barzotto is still definitely worth checking out - we’re just hoping things relax a bit. Because we’re pretty ready to get started on the daily bowl of pasta thing.
We are very over little gem salads. They’re on every single menu and as a rule, boring as hell. Except at Barzotto. This is a fantastic salad thanks to the yogurt dressing, tons of fresh herbs, pickled cucumbers and sunflower seeds. Must order.
The noodles are absurdly long and also absurdly good. You will need to use your knife and fork to prevent choking, and that is ok. We’re adults. But we still encourage eating as much of this cheesy cacio e pepe as you can.
Hot take: this tastes like the woods. And we mean that as a compliment. The mushrooms and beef are rich and earthy and generally superb. Strongly recommend.
A thicker, spicier take on spaghetti, with red sauce, pork, and lots of breadcrumbs. Our least favorite of the pastas, but still a strong contender.
Our favorite part about the porchetta is the piles of pickled vegetables, olives and fig spread that come with it. The pork is a little fatty for us, but the meaty bites are excellent.
Very basic meatballs. Nice if you want to add a little protein to all the pasta.
This is worth popping in for on its own. If you have enough room after dinner to get some on the way out, power to you. It’s soft-serve gelato with a few different sauces and topping options - we’re very into the salted caramel with little dark chocolate balls or the coffee affogato with mint. But you can’t go wrong.