My first dining visit to Starbelly came last night, after having heard about the popular Castro eating establishment more than once in recent weeks. So of course this means a review is in order.
To get the major minuses out of the away: The tables are quite small, and the seating not too comfortable. If you don’t mind parking yourself on a wooden bench or metal chair, while inadvertently eavesdropping on the conversation next to (and very close to) you, then keep reading.
The food itself: Interesting, adventurous and mostly satisfying. The chicken liver pate, with onion marmalade and grain mustard accompanied by toasted sourdough: Absolutely divine, easily earning its place as my favorite of the night. The mussel dish: Tasty as mussels go, though paired rather oddly with mexican chorizo, creating a flavor competition I would not have expected. The spaghetti: Ambitious, as surprisingly thick noodles lead a welcome scattering of sliced jalapenos, mixed with slices of thick bacon that seemed to excite my dining companion more than they did me. The squash, goat cheese and black garlic pizza: A clear winner, proving its strength through a refreshing combination of flavors that for some odd reason yielded me a slight taste of Hawaii. All of this, washed down with a soothing Malbec, made for a unique, though not unparalleled, culinary experience.
Starbelly, despite heightened audibility, limited limb-waving space and unforgiving landings for your rear, is certainly worth a repeat visit. After all, the thick rare burgers on the table next to me were loudly calling!
Taste it all for yourself, if you haven’t already. Your belly, like mine, will be full. The rest is not too much to stomach.
And that’s my (palate’s hunger-driven) opinion.