San Francisco is known as Fog City for a reason: even in the middle of summer the sunshine is occasional and fleeting. We were lucky enough to catch the sun on a Sunday afternoon and cheerily enjoyed drinks and snacks at Palamino (suitably rugged up against the slight chill of course).
The view from the outdoors deck is wonderful, and validated parking (a new thing for me where if you dine at the restaurant, they'll give you 3 hours parking in a parking lot for free) is almost as nice. To kick us off though, a round of whiskey sours.
Nowhere near as flavoursome as I'm used to or would like, but what can you except for a super-cheap $5 cocktail. Although the drinks kept flowing, we did food to sate our hungry bellies.
The crab and artichoke dip was creamy, although only had small chunks of meat in it. Still, the flavour was balanced and we couldn't get enough, especially with the crispy flatbread served on the side.
The crispy calamari was nowhere as crispy as I would have liked, with too thick and too greasy batter, but the serving size was more than generous.
To balance all the indulgence, we ordered Brussels sprouts with pancetta. Ok, the Brussels sprouts were definitely healthy but the oil and pancetta that make the dish delicious with just the right amount of salt were necessary evils.
Of course, one cannot survive on appetisers alone, so we ordered a hot Italian sausage and mushroom pizza.
With not a single bit of spice, I'm not sure how hot could be in its name, although cold pizzas are not preferred for a weekend bunch in my opinion. Palamino did get the topping to base ratio right, with a light and crispy base that showcased the toppings, just the way I like my pizzas.
Overall, Palamino is a great place to relax and watch the world go by. Cheap drinks and food and efficient service. Thrown together with good company, there's not much else you could ask for. I'm definitely returning here next time the rare crossing of free-time and sunshine in San Francisco occurs again.
345 Spear St, San Francisco
Mon-Sat 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm, Sun 11am-2pm, 430pm-9pm