Among a flurry of late-summer and early fall openings in SF we have Corzetti, the newest Italian restaurant from Back of the House restaurant group. And one of the stars on the opening menu is a delicious, indulgent, cheese-stuffed flatbread known as focaccia di recco.
Corzetti debuted in August in the ground-floor corner space at Geary and Mason, in the Hotel G — a space that was occupied pre-pandemic by chef Melissa Perfit's short-lived Ayala. It's the 23rd Bay Area restaurant for Back of the House and owner Adriano Paganini, and it takes some of its cues from the successful A Mano, which opened in Hayes Valley in 2017.
On the menu are a handful of pizzas and pastas, along with salads and other starters like some very solid meatballs made with shortrib and guanciale. The pastas lean toward northern and north-coastal Italy, with the namesake dish being corzetti — coin-like discs of pasta — served with rich cream sauce of taleggio cheese, hen-of-the-woods mushroom, brown butter, and sage.
There is also, in a nod to Genoa, a dish of handkerchief pasta (fazzoletti) served with Genovese pesto — which some San Franciscans may remember as the signature dish of Farina in the Mission.
But the hands-down star of a recent meal at Corzetti was chef Tali Missirlian's focaccia di recco. The thin, cracker-like flatbread does not resemble what Americans know as focaccia — it is closer to a crisp crepe or cracker-thin pizza. It is a rustic, deeply satisfying dish where extra-thin, oven-browned layers of dough are the vehicle for a thin, molten layer of salty stracchino cheese sandwiched inside.
At Corzetti, the focaccia di recco can be ordered with or without a smattering of mortadella on top, and obviously for the meat-eaters, you should definitely opt for with.
It's a dangerous starter unless you're sharing with four or five people or making a meal of it alone, because it isn't likely to reheat well — and you'll be tempted to polish off the entire thing.
Corzetti - 398 Geary Street - Find reservations here
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