Ah, the joy of dining alone—no need to share, compromise, or fret over conflicting tastes. On a recent escapade through the vibrant culinary scene of San Francisco, I found myself at the quaint and charming Penny Roma, a newish spot from the seasoned pros at Flour + Water. Nestled at the back of the restaurant, I discovered my cozy perch at a small food bar, where the magic was about to unfold.
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As I settled into my seat, a glass of red, Italian, natural wine materialized, setting the tone for an evening of indulgence. With a moment to soak in my surroundings and contemplate the forthcoming feast, the server discreetly shared a secret: half portions of all pasta dishes were available for solo diners like myself. Naturally, my focus gravitated towards the heart of the menu.
First on the agenda was a crisp and refreshing little gem lettuce salad with pear, walnut, and blue cheese—an impeccable palate cleanser paving the way for the pasta parade that lay ahead.
With a mission to savor the breadth of Penny Roma’s offerings, I dove into four pasta courses, each a symphony of flavors and textures.
1. Cacio e Pepe
Classic in flavor, yet a texture revelation. The pasta’s thickness initially delighted my taste buds, but by the third bite, a thought crept in—how would I manage three more pasta courses?
2. Pappardelle with Chanterelles and King Trumpets
A dish where fall gracefully transitioned into winter, bathed in shallot cream and crowned with Parmigiano Reggiano. Umami at its finest, leaving me eager for the next act.
3. Strozzapreti al Nero di Seppia
Black ink pasta, a medley of fennel, Calabrian chili, oregano, and the delightful crunch bomb of toasted breadcrumbs. A daring composition that danced on my taste buds, defying convention.
4. Lasagna Bolognese
A classic red sauce joint creation, marrying veal ragu with marinara and béchamel sauces—a nostalgic nod to the culinary prowess of nonnas past.
Just when I thought my journey had reached its crescendo, the allure of dessert beckoned. Despite reservations, I succumbed to the temptation of an olive oil cake. However, this was no ordinary dessert—ginger, mascarpone cream, and sugared persimmon transformed a common treat into a twisted masterpiece.
In the end, Penny Roma had exceeded all expectations. A new school gem with an old school heart, it artfully navigated the delicate balance between tradition and innovation. You’ve truly dialed it in, leaving this solo diner utterly enchanted and thoroughly satisfied. Bravo! 🍝🎉
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