I managed to find my way to the 34th floor of the Transamerica Building on Saturday. This was my first time inside. I was doubly lucky because of how nice of a day it was. Click to expand.
For 90 minutes, he guides folks around the heart of North Beach, telling the culinary story of his “village.” He points out his favorite restaurants, and those with historical influence. He caps it off with a pizza tasting. I might be biased, but trust me, he’s a fantastic guide.
He’s offering a 25% discount off the normal $12.95 rate, so for under 10 bucks you get a tour and food. The next one is this Saturday, but there are only 15 walkers at a time.
If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend in the nice weather, consider this.
Ongoing tour calendar is here.
A while back I did a video piece about Gianni Mola, a colorful North Beach resident who showed us around the neighborhood, claimed (while standing at the edge of Chinatown) that “fresh Italian blood” was coursing back into the restaurant industry, and then took us up to his kitchen while he made gnocchi from scratch.
Afterwards, he asked me to help him create a web cooking show, and I obliged.
Check it out at Gianni.tv. The concept is to show Gianni’s “village” lifestyle in North Beach: how he uses his favorite local food purveyors to source the meal he cooks that night for friends; the importance of “time and place” (seasonality and regional diet); and simple kitchen techniques that can allow anyone to make authentic Italian dishes and meals.
Presented through the eyes and hands of local North Beach resident, John “Gianni” Mola, a former poverty lawyer and Old World Italy aficionado, this video first touches on Chinatown’s growth into previous North Beach territory, then presents some restaurants that are part of what Mola sees as a trend of Italian immigrants coming back into North Beach.
It finishes with him sourcing and making a gnocchi dish from scratch. Do not watch this video while hungry!
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