Beretta Tastes Rather Blah


It seems like people are always talking about Beretta.  I have been curious to check it out, so when Pdho’s friend CountZero came to town, I thought it would be a good place to go for dinner, especially since it was short notice and I couldn’t get a reservation at any other restaurant.  There was absolutely no wait when we arrived around 6:45pm, but it quickly got busy soon after that.


Eggplant Caponatina with Burrata

We started off with the Eggplant Caponatina added some Burrata for an extra charge.  The mix of eggplant, tomatoes and other vegetables was quite refreshing, and the burrata added some tasty creaminess.  It was relatively light and healthy.


Chicken Liver Crostini alla Toscana
Focaccia Bread

Generally, I’m a fan of anything served on a crostini but found myself sorely disappointed by the chicken liver.  Each crostini was piled with a large mound of chicken liver which had an overpoweringly strong flavor of liver.  Honestly, it was so disgusting that I couldn’t swallow it.  I tried to divide it across some of the  focaccia bread, but not only did it not help, but it filled me up more.


Fritto Misto di Pesce

The Fritto Misto had a mix of fried calamari, shrimp, onions an green beans.  It was pretty plain actually… not even the tomato-based dipping sauce could do much to make this taste any better than average.


Heirloom Tomato, Basil and Ricotta

Although I liked the basil and heirloom tomatoes on this pizza, the ricotta cheese ended up overshadowing the the freshness of those ingredients.  The tomatoes, in particular, had a natural and refreshing flavor.  I think if I had a better appreciation for cheese, I might have felt differently about this particular pizza, but that is tough since I’m not much of a pizza fan in general.


Grilled Gulf Shrimp
Squid Ink Risotto with Calamari

Service started to slow down as the meal continued, so we started losing light pretty fast.  By the time the Grilled Gulf Shrimp and Squid Ink Risotto came out, it was pretty dark and there wasn’t very good lighting for the pictures.

The Grilled Gulf Shrimp was a special for the day, but unfortunately, we decided to order it without asking how it was prepared.  In addition to the fact that it was dark, I was not able to figure out at all what went into it.  There were 5-6 large gulf shrimps that were covered in some sort of cream and served over a bed of risotto.  The shrimps had a distinctly shrimpy taste, but after that the rest of the dish was sour.  I couldn’t figure out what made it taste that way.

The Squid Ink Risotto looked even darker than usual with the lack of lighting, but it tasted okay.  The risotto was a little nuttier, maybe because it wasn’t as evenly cooked.  At first bite, it tasted a little plain, but with each bite, the flavor seemed to grow increasingly more buttery and creamy making it a little bit better by the end.  The calamari was fine, but it didn’t add much to save the dish.

Overall, the food was pretty uninteresting, but maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised since Beretta is supposedly known for its cocktails and speakeasy-style drinks.  As I think about it, it probably makes sense that the food tasted the way that it did since it might be that the food was supposed to play a backseat to the drinks.  Unfortunately, since none of us were really in the mood to drink tonight, we ended up eating a very mediocre meal, sober.


1199 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

PAFO Ratings for Beretta:
Price $$½
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 3 stars
Overall rating 3 stars


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