San Francisco's First Deaf Restaurant: Mozzeria for Pizza, Signing & Pasta

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The Mozzeria blog, which debuted on December 17, 2011, explores the husband-and-wife team of Melody and Russell Stein’s love for pizza, and Melody’s determination to become the third generation restaurateur in her family.

Mozzeria Pizza

Blog postings present an intimate look at the Steins' desires and efforts, shares latest developments, and chronicle their endeavor to launch their San Francisco restaurant. Melody did an extensive study tour in Italy earlier in the year taking cooking classes in Rome, Sorrento and Positano, has been conducting extensive research locally and held tasting events to gather feedback and input on their specially developed recipes. An extension of the blog is their newly opened San Francisco-based restaurant -- Mozzeria. Both Melody and Russell are deaf and have hired servers who can actually sign; it is one of the reasons I ended up discovering the place.

An old high school friend was passing through and one of her new ventures is learning to sign in order to become an interpreter. Who knew that this was a skillset that was lacking around the country? On top of it, she is vegan and wheat challenged, so off we went to Mozzeria so she could practice signing, I could discover a new restaurant in the Mission area and we could share as many salads as was offered on the menu. If you don’t have food restrictions, go for their fabulous pizzas, which is what the restaurant is known for: Neapolitan style of course. And, according to their blog, they’ll be doing "duck" pizzas every Friday, served with Hoisin Sauce, Spring Onion, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Eggplant and Goat Cheese. Yum!

If duck isn’t your thing, try a pizza with caramelized onion, fresh thyme and Point Reyes bleu cheese, proscuitto with wild arugula and mozzarella, or roasted grape tomatoes, eggplant and goat cheese.

Other things on the menu worth noting are their appetizer-portioned meat samplers, such as porcini salame with a sherry jelly, prosciutto and pickled cauliflower and hot coppa with garlic stuffed olives, all available for $6 a pop. They also have a great cheese selection, including my favorite: pecorino, which they serve with almonds. Additionally, you can go for the Humboldt Fog with hestnut honey, farmhouse cheddar with amarena cherries or the fromage blanc served with bergamont oil and cracked black pepper.

I wasn’t hungry enough to dive into their pastas, but if you are, they have two interesting sounding ravioli dishes: a crab ravioli or the wild mushroom ravioli, both served in a cream sauce. Frankly, I think they should offer an alternative for those who don’t particularly want the calories or artery killers that cream is known for; thankfully when I did ask for something else, the chef said he’d do a traditional tomato sauce. Note to self for next time.

More on food/wine on WBTW here and on creativity here.

Renee Blodgett, Founder: Down the Avenue, We Blog the World, Magic Sauce Media and Magic Sauce Photography


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