The utterly incredible oven at Montesacro. Photo courtesy of Gianluca Legrottaglie.
Just around from the Dottie’s (on Stevenson at 6th Street) will be ~MONTESACRO~, an open-all-day-and-night enoteca from Gianluca Legrottaglie, a partner and the wine director of nearby ~54 MINT~ in Mint Plaza. Legrottaglie worked for six years in the Montesacro quarter, a Roman neighborhood that was a bit hardscrabble and reminds him of this part of the Tenderloin/SoMa, so in a way, his project will be his homage to post-World War II Rome.
The location is fascinating: for the past 20 years, it has been a Nepalese meditation center, but appears it was previously a bakery about 100 years ago—there’s a brick oven that is 15 feet by 8 feet high that Legrottaglie found behind a wall (the landlord had no idea it was even there). Sadly the oven maker stopped manufacturing in the 1950s, so Legrottaglie is busy combing through city records trying to get some history on the space (it’s connected to the neighboring Windsor Hotel). Anyone have any ideas? Was it a bakery? In the meantime, he is going to use an electric oven that he’s importing from Italy while the vintage oven will remain in a nonfunctional state (well, for now).
Legrottaglie is bringing over a pizzaiolo from Rome, who will be making nine different kinds of pizzas. But it’s actually not pizza—it’s pinsa, a type of oval flatbread you can find in Rome. The pinsa will be the first of its kind in San Francisco, using a dough that is a combination of three flours, a spin on a recipe that dates back to ancient Rome. Instead of the classic 00 flour, this will be an organic and GMO-free dough of Italian soy, rice, and frumento (wheat) that is imported from Rome. It rises for three days and is then stretched and baked to order—this version will be crisp and light. Toppings will include the Montesacro (stracciatella, kale, chile, anchovy), a capricciosa (artichokes, mushroom, olives, lardo), and gorgonzola e radicchio, all $15.
Since there isn’t a kitchen, the 49-seat enoteca will also be serving a variety of sott’olio (“under oil”) house-marinated vegetables, a classic Roman preparation, like eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and other vegetables. There will also be some salumi (culatello!), cheeses, salads, and desserts (including coffee granita with whipped cream, a Roman favorite!).
Legrottaglie will also be featuring a variety of quality well-priced wines and beer. He wants it to be a place where people will be comfortable hanging out, whether they’re playing Scopa at the bar or just enjoying a long afternoon over glasses (plural!) of wine. If you need to grab a quick lunch to bring back to your desk, there’s that option as well—you’ll find panini at lunch, like mortadella e provolone (pistachio mortadella, provolone cheese).
The space will feel rustic, old-fashioned, and dimly lit, with elements like wood mixing with industrial materials, like cement. Look for an opening in the end of February, we’ll keep you posted. Hours will be 12pm-12am. 510 Stevenson St. at 6th St.