Salivating over Salumeria

The people who brought us Flour + Water debuted their latest creation today: Salumeria.

A steady stream of lunch patrons stopped in for a taste of the duck confit, roast beef and king trumpet mushroom sandwiches, or one of several antipasti offerings.

When I read a blip of an article last week from Grub Street, I marked Salumeria’s opening on my calendar. A good restaurant in The City is like a hand grenade – safe to handle before it blows up, but painful afterward.

I arrived a little after noon today (they opened at 11) and took a number to place my order. In the five minutes it took to get my number called, I looked over their gourmet salami, breadstick and sweets. All would make for great gift ideas in the future, though most items are impractical for everyday eating.

Another 10 minutes and my duck confit sandwich was ready. Paired with a pint of Mission Blonde, my tab came to $17.36.  I settled at a table inside the airy, beautiful dining area and unwrapped my eagerly awaited indulgence.

The fatty duck goes excellently with the only slightly sweet cherry mostrada. The watercress’ almost peppery taste is lovely at balancing out the other two flavors. Another delight in the sandwich is of course the bread itself. The crunch of the mini-baguette is perfect without being too hard.

After polishing off the sandwich, I finished my beer while listening to people chat around me. I tried not to giggle as one man literally moaned over his salad.

It was very clear that most people — like me — had gone out of their way to get to 20th and Florida on opening day to try the food. Customers held iPhones above their heads to take photos as they walked through the door and furiously snapped photos of each item before eating it.

Salumeria is hyped because of its pedigree; it didn’t disappoint, in flavor or design. Some people, though, will leave hungry. The sandwiches are small, and a half-pint of the marinated beets, barley with prosciutto and peas or mackerel en saur with pine nuts antipasti will set you back $6.

I will probably return in the future, but if I take friends I will make it clear to them we are going out for a very light lunch.

It’s also worth noting that Salumeria recently brought home the bacon at the Cochon 555 ‘snout to tail’ pork competition in San Francisco. Not bad for a restaurant that hadn’t opened yet.