Flour + Water – Mission, San Francisco

Flour + Water

2401 Harrison Street

Flour + Water, situated in the middle of the Mission, has earned quite a reputation for the handmade pasta they’ve been making daily and slinging for the last five years.   Our first impression at Flour + Water a year or so back was good enough that we decided to return for more.

Reservations at Flour + Water are hard to come by as they are gobbled up almost as quickly as one State Bird Provisions and the line for open seating can be daunting but worth the wait, whatever it is.

There are two menus to choose from at Flour + Water.  One is the seasonal pasta tasting menu which offers a few small nibbles before getting into a 5 course meal for a cost of $65/person (with entire table participation required).  They also have an a la carte menu with a handful of different pastas from the tasting menu, plus some pizzas and main dishes.  Choosing which menu to order off of can lead to a mini existential crisis.   No matter which menu you choose from, you will walk away with a lesson in lesser known Italian pastas.

On our first time we visited we went with the a la carte, this visit was pasta tasting plus a pizza add on.


The tasting menu kicked off with a trio of small plates.  They were delivered all at once and described quickly, so apologies for lack of details.

Stuffed Olives


Six olives stuffed with (what I thought I heard) ricotta cheese, breaded and lightly fried served with an aioli sauce for dipping.

Tuna Crostini



A lightly oiled tuna salad served on a hard bread.

Fried Chicken



A handful of chicken nuggets, lightly fried and served with an interesting sauce.

These poor descriptions (and photos) likely make these dishes seem less appealing and more simplistic than they actually are.  But all were a nice start to the meal before the real parade kicked off.

(As the pasta tasting starts, I will note that the courses are delivered on a single plate for the table to serve themselves.)

Sunchoke Cappelletti with brown butter, capers & preserved lemons


The sweet brown butter influence and the tart lemon complimented each other nicely.  The pasta was firm and not overpowered by the sauce.

Beet Chitarra with rock crab, romanesco & chili


The beets were mixed into the pasta, giving the noodles a reddish hue.  The crab meat provided a salty seafood experience and the chili heat was noticeable but not overbearing.

Tortollini en Brodo

flour+water_tortelliniThe tortollini were stuffed with pork and served in a very light pork based broth (brodo) for a very delicate flavor.  Another dish with the pasta cooked perfectly and not overpowered by the supplemental items.

Pork Fattisu with whole grain mustard and cabbage

flour+water_fattisuThis dish was fun as the pasta looks like little candies.  Otherwise I feel like I would be writing the same things, beautifully cooked pasted matched sublimely with the complimenting ingredients.

Orecchiette with veal bolognese



The shell like pasta cupped the veal like a mother holding a baby.

Thus ends the pasta courses.

Pizza:  Salumi – soppressata, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala


flour+water_pizza2The crust on this pizza is out of this world, sweet and salty, doughy and crispy.  The salumi part is interesting, it is spreadable; described as a spicy sausage that was removed from its casing.

We ordered the pizza as an add-on to the tasting and were asked when we would like it, before or after the pasta.

Grapefruit Gelato


Grapefruit is one food that I am not the world’s biggest fan of.  With that said, I didn’t find this gelato to be anywhere near as repulsive as the fruit straight up (or in juice form).  The thin strips of rind were carefully eaten around.

As expected based on our first visit, everything was fantastic.  The pasta tasting menu is a substantive amount of food but not getting a pizza would be considered a sin in most religions.  I must admit however that the hardwood chairs are not forgiving on one’s rump after a two hour meal and for that reason (and only that reason) I was not saddened to pay the bill.



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