Year Of The Snake

新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year!
year of the snake-resized-600.jpg

As of today, it is officially the year of the black snake!

Chinese New Year has always been one of my favorite holidays, it’s so much more festive than the Western world’s usual customs. There’s many little traditions we do such as washing your hair and cleaning the whole house on Saturday to wearing red for good luck. The one tradition that seems to be everyone’s favorite is red envelopes called lai see (利是)! Married people give red envelopes with money inside to the younger generations after being told “Gung Hai Fat Choy” (恭禧发财). When I was younger, I use to collect around 20-30 red envelopes; now, I’m lucky to get a few.

About.com has a pretty accurate and extensive list of all the CNY activities. In these days, it’s rare that a family will follow all of the rules.

–

Since most of my family doesn’t live in San Francisco anymore, Chi and I decided to celebrate non traditionally at Beretta on Valencia Street. This place is one of my favorites and one I don’t mind repeating, even though my list of restaurants to try continue to be never ending.

IMG_1036.jpg

I’m usually very apprehensive of coming here on a Saturday because the wait for a table can be frustrating, but we really got lucky last night. We were seated the second we walked in! It was meant to be.

IMG_1003.jpg IMG_1000.jpg

Beretta is known for their inventive cocktails and modern thin crust pizzas. My boyfriend couldn’t resist a Nuestra Paloma (tequila, elderflower, cointreau, grapefruit and bitters).

IMG_1007.jpg

I wasn’t in a drinking mood so I stayed with water, although I did have a sip of his to try. It packed a pretty strong punch!

IMG_1013.jpg

Last time we came, they were sold out of the gnocchi (with porcini and smoked pancetta) so I was dead set on trying it. Who doesn’t love mushrooms and Italian bacon?

IMG_1014.jpg

Not us, we hardly left a speck! The appetizer left me more hungry for the pizza we were about to receive.

IMG_1021.jpg

Yum. Picking a pizza was challenging, considering how each one Beretta had sounded heaven sent. We decided on the prosciutto di parma, tomato, arugula and mozzarella. Tasty, however, I don’t think anything can beat the hot salami one we had last time. We will come back for it next time.

Chinese New Year wouldn’t be complete without dessert. I normally don’t have a sweet tooth so this was a rare treat.

IMG_1028.jpg

IMG_1032.jpg

Per the waitresses’ recommendation, we obliged with the panna gelato (+extra virgin olive oil and sea salt). It was…different. Not in a bad way considering we finished it, but a taste my palate isn’t use to.

Until next time, Beretta!

Are you familiar with Chinese New Year? What toppings would you put on your dream pizza?