Alley Strikes Gold at the Mission’s New Italian Spot
Great Gold Tomato Bread lot’s of red sauce, lots of garlic, lots of olive oil, Meatballs red sauce, cranberry beans, roasted garlic, Cavatellisweet corn, brown butter cacio e pepe, Vermicelli Carbonara snap peas, guanciale, duck egg yolk, pecorino
’18 Giacomelli, Vermentino, ‘Pianacce’, Colli di Luni
I wasn’t expecting too much from Great Gold, the American Italian Restaurant that went into the Mission space that was formerly Foxister mostly because I am a snob when it comes to the American Italian food I grew up with. Brandon Kirksey and David Steele are both behind this new spot (as well as Flour + Water and Foxister). However, everything that I read convinced me that this just might hold up to my idea of East Coast Italian eateries with its red sauce style Italian American comfort staples.
I went with a friend and I arrived roughly ten minutes before she did. I didn’t mind that she was late as I was able to absorb the decor of the restaurant as I people-watched among the moderately sized crowd. The interior is the same as it was for Foxister, but I love it regardless. It’s got a great mural of a woman emerging from a moon and red leather booths. When my friend finally arrived, we spent a lot of time catching up before ordering, and the staff was incredibly patient and in no hurry to rush us. That was refreshing.
We started with glasses of Vermentino, the Great Gold Tomato Bread, and Meatballs. The meatballs were a lovely texture and while they didn’t necessarily taste like Sunday dinner, they felt like it (if that makes sense). The bread, which was described on the menu as “lots of red sauce,” was disappointingly not saucy enough for me. It was good and lived up to its claim to “lots of garlic,” but when it comes to red sauce on anything, I want my dish drowning in it with a basket of bread to accompany so that I can perform my ritualistic plate mopping in the end. This red sauce was cooked on top of the foccacia which takes away from the desired end result.
Again, the staff was diligent to check on us but never once pressured us to hurry up and order our entrees. When we finally found the need for another glass of wine, we also ordered the Cavatelli and Vermicelli Carbonara. I.LOVE.CARBORNARA. This was not the kind my mother would quickly whip up on a weeknight, but it tasted just as good and comforting. It was like the carbonara I know got all dressed up and moved to the city. The duck egg was beautifully presented on top and mixing it into the gorgeous handmade noodles was extremely satisfying. We were sharing our dishes, but I definitely hogged this one a bit more than the others, and that’s saying a lot because the Cavatelli was also ridiculously good.
With sweet corn and brown butter cacio e pepe, the balance of flavors was perfect. For a warm pasta dish, it felt very refreshing. It was the perfect combo of light and comforting. I was confused, but in the best way possible.
All in all, we were at the restaurant for a little over three hours and the staff was extremely welcoming and we never felt like there was a rush. I definitely appreciate that kind of hospitality when it can all too often feel like you are being rushed to pay the bill and leave. I will definitely be going back, only next time I will be ordering a side of red sauce for the bread.