Best Gnocchi - 2001
The handwritten menu at North Beach's cozy Da Flora changes often, with one exception -- owner Flora Gaspar's "signature" sweet potato gnocchi. In fact, according to Flora, attempts to change the sauce the gnocchi are served with have been met with fierce opposition by regular customers, meaning (to us, at least) that the dish has reached the apex of culinary perfection. Subtly sweet, sublimely melting, served with a decadent sherry-cream sauce and rich, smoky bacon, these gnocchi will take your breath away, and make Da Flora worth visiting on their own. As an added bonus, the décor is charming, the focaccia irresistible, and, given the location (the quiet end of Columbus), tourists are rare. Plus, you'll meet Flora, a kindly type who has dedicated herself to bringing happiness into the world one sweet potato dumpling at a time.