Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kitchen Excitement

Tonight my friend JT and I went to check out the new, much anticipated Pizzeria Delfina. Doors opened at 5 pm, and as I rounded the corner from Fillmore onto California, I could already see a huge line of people! I couldn’t believe it. I quickly got into line, and JT and I ended up with the two last seats in the house for this first seating. Not only did we grab the last two seats, they were seats at the bar that had prime view of the pantry line and kitchen. What luck!

We had a great meal: warm marinated olives, the insalata tricolore, and of course pizza. We had a hard time deciding, but ended up with the Salsiccia pizza—housemade fennel sausage, tomato, bell peppers, onions and mozzarella. YUM.

JT and I had a great time chatting and catching up. But even more than that? Watching the line. We saw two gals behind the pantry line—one seemed to be having a little bit of a hard time. The other? Totally rockin it. I felt a little bad for Girl #1—she was trying hard, but seemed frazzled and it looked like she wasn’t having any fun (and yes, you are suppose to have fun in the kitchen!) I wonder, is that how I’d be in the kitchen? Totally stressed out and always just a step behind? Hmm.

Another guy from the pizza area came down to help out. Although not the most difficult station, it was a busy station. Not only were they doing the salads, they were responsible for the hot appetizers (meatballs, grilled peppers, and soup), as well as plating dessert! With all the kids in the dining room, there were tons of gelato orders going out!

From our seats, we could also easily see the pizza area. There were four guys working this area (until the one guy went to pantry), but what was funny was watching one of the guys, I think he was the executive sous. He seemed to be expediting on this particular evening, and he had so much energy! He was jumping up and down in excitement as he was yelling out to everyone. It totally brought a smile to my face. You could just tell how passionate he was about the food he was putting out. I have never seen anyone so excited to take something out of an oven before either. I loved it.

Craig Stoll was also there working the line—much more than he was working the room. His watchful eye saw it all and he made adjustments as the night went on.

At one point, I was taking out my wallet to pay, and pulled 'Devil in the Kitchen' out of my purse. We had been talking about it earlier in the night. Pizza chef in pantry looked up at that moment and smiled when he saw the book. "It's a good one! But the end gets boring. Marco just goes on to open more and more restaurants!" Funny. Craig Stoll was watching the dialogue, and looked to the chef "You read??" Perfectly hilarious.

It was a great night—with great conversation, yummy food, and lots of excitement in the restaurant. Even as we were sitting there, we saw a line starting to form outside. Goes to show, people are still willing to wait for good food. Congrats to the Delfina crew—looks like we have a success on our hands. I can’t wait to go back!

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