Best Pizza Alternative San Francisco 2006 - Pizzetta Mediterranean at Cinecittá
This adorable place, open a little over six months, feels like it's been airlifted to North Beach direct from Rome, with its classy reddish granite counter and walls lined with framed film posters (including De Sica's Ladri de Biciclette, aka The Bicycle Thief; Wyler's Vacanze Romane, aka Roman Holiday; and Fellini Roma). You can command excellent panini, lasagne, calzone, and of course pizzas, ranging from the expected (margherita, with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil) to the rare (marinara alla tiberia, with spicy linguiça, or a bianca featuring brie and Gorgonzola as well as Parmigiano and mozzarella). The menu calls them "individual," but they'll serve two. Yet we can't resist ordering the pizzetta Mediterranean, listed under antipasti: a round of pizza dough topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a hearty dusting of zatar, the Middle Eastern seasoning made with sumac, thyme, oregano, and crushed sesame seeds, baked until it's crisp and fragrant. It's a fabulous snack and, at only $4.50, quite the bargain.