San Francisco, CA
Chef/owner: Nate Appleman
The name A16 originates from the highway(also known as thewood-fired pizza highway) that runs from Naples to Canosa, Puglia - home of the Neopolitan pizza. True to the road from Naples to Canona, Puglia, A16's cuisine is focused on southern Italian, particulary the Campania region. A16 has seasonal menus inspired by local produce, heritage meats, sustainable seafood, and Italian tradition. Pictured here is Nate Appleman, the executive chef and co-owner of A16 and SPQR, who became one of the few American pizzaiolos certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association. We have never had a pizza from Italy or Naples, so this is as close as we will get for now. We photographed him checking on the pizzas to make sure they are cooked to perfection. A16 has seating that wraps around the area where the chefs are prepping, plating, and cooking. I always enjoy sitting at this area to watch the chefs in action.Tripe napoletana with onions, tomato, white wine and breadcrumbs (10)
We were never really that into offal until the last few years. On our recent trip to New York, we had pig's head torchon at Momofuku Ssam Bar, crispy pig's foot and tripe at Babbo, and sweetbreads at Eleven Madison Park. Once we saw tripe on the menu at A16, we knew this was something that we had to order. For me, eating tripe is almost like eating pasta but a tad chewier. The tripe was soft and had the perfect texture as it rolled over in my mouth. The sauce was wonderfully rich and well seasoned with herbs, onions, and tomatoes. Delicious!!!
Margherita Pizza with tomato, mozzarella, grana padano, basil, olive oil (14)
This is the one dish that I was really looking forward to eating at A16 because of the fact that it was created by the certified Nate Appleman. This certification means his pizzas follow the guidelines of pizzas found in Naples, Italy. I used to order pizzas bombarded with various toppings, but within the past few years, I have come to appreciate simple pizza pies. Dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and basil are all the pizza needs. I feel it is a true test of a great pizza. And this magherita pizza at A16 did not disappoint.
This pizza brought me to Naples, Italy (even though I have never been there). The sauce was a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness from the tomatoes. Individually, all these high quality ingredients are great. But eaten together, the grana padano (cheese), basil, sauce, olive oil, and crust, these ingredients taste so wonderfully together. They also offer hot chili oil that can be drizzled onto the pizza, adding spice to the pizza. My few complaints with the pizza was the dark blistered crust, which was a tad too burnt. And me being an American, I wish there was more cheese and basil.
A16 is a great place to have a delicious and simple meal with a wide range of choices of pizzas, pastas, salumi, appetizing appetizers, and delicious entrees. Everything at A16 is seasonal and market driven so you know are you getting the fresh of the fresh and the best of the best. Definitely worth a visit and worth coming back for!!