Experience: Fiorella on Clement St.
There aren't enough great restaurants in the Outer Richmond District of San Francisco. Some may beg to differ, with the bounty of dim sum and pho eateries. Fiorella seems to stand alone. It serves fresh Italian cuisine and is new to this neighborhood, having opened in late January 2016.
What makes this place special is what makes any restaurant special: a no-nonsense approach to delicious yet simple dishes, friendly service, and a comfortable ambiance. The team at Fiorella has done it right, and how could they not? The trifecta includes a chef from Maine, a partner seasoned by the likes of Danny Meyer's Tabla in NYC, and an ops director who cut his teeth with Mario Batali and previously owned Uva Enoteca (another favorite of mine) in the Lower Haight.
The food is purely emblematic of Italian cooking: simple, whole ingredients cooked and season to perfection. The wine selection is fantastic, and if you don't know wine, your server will ask what you like in a wine and make an excellent recommendation. The place is tastefully decorated; the custom wallpaper featuring historical people and landmarks of San Francisco gives it a sense of humor. Globe pendant lights shine warmth on each table lining the wall opposite the white tile countertop bar. It's the kind of place you can go to impromptu on a Thursday, as I did with my mom last week and then again with a dear friend this week. To top it all off, the entire experience is very reasonably priced, which is a rare find in metropolitan restaurants these days. I highly recommend it!