Flavor: Italian country club steaks and chops
SF Neighborhood: North Beach
When I heard that a Joe DiMaggio’s was opening at the old Fior d’Italia corner of Union and Stockton, immediately I thought—What? Another sports bar in North Beach? Fortunately I was way off base. It’s a steakhouse. But considering the restaurant’s overall design and special menu, the brand new Joe DiMaggio’s Italian Chophouse is far from your typical upscale franchised steakhouse. It’s a completely different experience.
Let’s start with first impressions. The plush architecturally designed space features a huge bar, a lounge with a grand piano, and several dining rooms complete with tall leather booths and a variety of different sized tables, all with formal dinner settings. Throughout the restaurant, the dark mahogany walls are covered with intimate black and white photos of Joe DiMaggio’s life. It’s American nostalgia at its best. See examples below.
On to the menu. Along with fine steaks, the menu also includes Italian classics that make Joe DiMaggio’s a good place to entertain business partners and out-of-town guests, and an even better place for celebrating family and friends.
Last night 11 of us went to Joe DiMaggio’s for dinner. Can I be honest about the service? Although we made reservations well in advance, seating that large of a group on time was a bit of a challenge for the host. But that’s understandable, so we each had several martinis in the lounge. An hour later we were finally called. Okay… Are you ready for this? To make up for the long wait, when we arrived at our table, there were eight appetizer platters waiting for us. Apertifs were also set so we could immediately clink! clink! to my sister on her 32nd birthday. That kind gesture from the house was the beginning of flawless service throughout the entire dinner.
After appetizers, we placed our orders. The staff was extremely helpful in helping some of us decide. With two exceptions, the entire table ordered cuts ranging from 12 oz fillet mignon to 24 oz porterhouse. The two lightweights at the table had scampi and gnocchi. Best gnocchi I’ve ever tasted. The house had a selection of more than 200 exclusive California and Italian wines. We ordered several bottles of a nice red zin, and I was impressed that the servers decanted before pouring. Our dinners were simultaneously served by what seemed like the entire wait staff, and each steak was prepared perfect temperature. Parmesan potatoes and mixed vegetables were included. And for dessert? We all sampled three different desserts. Each one was a hit, the tiramisu being my favorite. By the end, I was definitely fat and happy.
Quick summary — The warm cozy atmosphere at Joe DiMaggio’s takes you to another place and time. Though priced like most 5-star restaurants, it’s worth the paper (or plastic) because the food is excellent. I can’t wait to go back and try other things from their menu. Most important, thank you to Jeremiah, Josh and their team for service that was like no other. You made my sister’s birthday celebration a little extra special.
Visit the Joe DiMaggio Italian Chophouse website for photos of the restaurant and their menu.