Dine out in SF - January 2003
Posted 06 November 2002 - 05:21 PM
Posted 07 November 2002 - 02:21 AM
Posted 08 November 2002 - 01:16 PM
Check the threads here at eGullet for ideas on where to go.
Posted 08 November 2002 - 04:39 PM
This is my first posting so I'll try to make it count. Irish Cream, in response to your request for help, here's my attempt to narrow the field a bit. One caveat: I don't live in SF anymore! I actually live in Holland but I can't wait to return...
Based on participating restaurants posted at http://www.sfdineabouttown.com/, here's are my thoughts:
None on this list are absolute favorites but you have plenty of very good options. If I didn't mention it then I don't recommend it. There are a couple omissions, such as Hawthorne Lane and Charles Nob Hill, that would have once been highly recommended but have suffered from the departure of defining chefs.
Alma--fairly recent addition to my former 'hood, the Mission. It's a nuevo latino place, i'd say the best in SF(there aren't many). Johnny Alamilla is really returning to his roots here. I guess you could call it nostalgia food.
Aziza--new on the scene since my departure so I can't judge from experience. That said, the place sounds great and has been generating a lot of buzz. Cal-Moroccan.
Andalu--small plates place run by a friend of a friend in the heart of the mission. also generating a lot of buzz. again, sorry, i haven't been there.
Antica Trattoria--well respected, traditional Italian trattoria
Azie--Asian Fusion place in SOMA that was very good but also pricey. I hear they've lowered their prices somewhat.
B44--located on Belden Lane, a strange movie set like street situated in the financial district. I feel wierd going there at night, it's much more happening during the day. So I'd recommend lunch. This is authentic Catalan cuisine.
Bacar--I haven't eaten there in two years but I found it uneven. It is an Arnold Wong project so I had high expectations--his restaurant and wine bar, EOS, in lovely Cole Valley is one of my favorites. This is little but as an example, they were serving bread from La Brea Bakery in LA. Now this is good bread, don't get me wrong. But with all the amazing SF bread sources, why go frozen? The thing to come for is wine--they have an incredible selection and they offer a lot by the glass. It's located in SOMA and at the height of dot-com madness this was a prime location. I wonder how they're faring now.
Black Cat--Reed Hearon's troubled North Beach restaurant has been transformed, I hear, into a French bistro inspired place. Don't know your thoughts on Michael Bauer but he loves it.
Bizou-Well regared rustic French. Beef cheeks are a signature dish.
Boulevard--Very popular place on the Embarcadero. It's a bit buttoned up for my taste, due to it's location. Other than that, highly recommended. Pat Kuleto designed the beautiful art nouveau space and Nancy Oakes is one of the most well respected proponents of California Cuisine in the Bay Area. She's married to Bruce Aidells, sausage king.
Citizen Cake--The food is uneven, and the service can be maddening but oh, the desserts! I vote this the best place to eat dessert in San Francisco. Owner Elizabeth Faulkner is an absolute genius in my book. You can tell she was an art student; her creations are incredibly imaginative. Enough superlatives? They also have a great take out counter.
Cosmopolitan Cafe-I've never been but have always heard good things. Often overlooked (apparently by me too).
Foreign Cinema--Also in the mission. Once a trendy place with so so food, now a trendy place with good food since two new chefs took over. The hook is that they project classic movies onto a large screen(no audio).
Farallon--It was great but it's been awhile so I'd recommend that you get an update if you're considering it. Another Pat Kuleto multi-million dollar design project. Chefs are Stars alumns (last time I heard).
Greens--A must, especially for a newcomer. This place boasts one of the best views in SF. Ask for a table by the window and either eat lunch or brunch or book early enough for sunset. Greens was originally founded by Deborah Madison and is now run by Annie Sommerville. It is vegetarian, and much of their produce comes from Green Gulch Farm at the Zen Center in Marin. The food is by no means cutting edge, but it's a Bay Area institution.
Grand Cafe--Another sleeper.
Isa's--Small plates in the Marina. I wasn't wowed by my experience there but everyone else seems to love it so I consider it unfair to keep it off the list. Maybe it's just the crowd...
Jianna--North Beach Californian.
One Market--Very close to the Embarcadero. A little stuffy at lunch, due to it's location, but gets good reviews. Opened by Joyce Goldstein, this is now owned by Bradley Ogden.
Postrio--Wolfgang Puck's long established restaurant near Union Square, which means lots of tourists. Californian.
Redwood Park--Again, going on hearsay since this opened after my departure (don't know if I could afford it even it I were still there). This is the place George Morrone opened after leaving Fifth Floor. I'd be willing to follow him.
Rose Pistola--Another Reed Hearon project in North Beach. Italian American, heavy on seafood (Ligurian style). It's been around awhile, but I believe it's still consistent.
Yabbie's Coastal Kitchen--One of the top spots for unadorned or simply adorned seafood.
I'd love to hear a report on where you ended up. We're not so fortunate in Holland to have the choices you have...
Posted 09 November 2002 - 03:57 AM
Posted 11 November 2002 - 10:00 AM
GraceAnne Walden reported last week that George Morrone is out at Redwood Park *sob* and Joseph Humphries has replaced him. I had an excellent lunch there in August but never did make it back for dinner.
Here's a link, with no mention where he might go...
Morrone out at Redwood Park
Posted 14 November 2002 - 11:12 AM
Hi Irish-Hope you had a great time in Big Sur. I love the restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn there. You're literally hanging off the cliff with floor to ceiling views of the ocean. At dusk the bats come out. I had my one and only abalone experience there and loved it. It's really the only time I've seen it on a menu. I don't think it's the most ecologically sound thing to serve but it was very good.
As for the dearth of SF egullet members, I can only hope that changes. The discussion I've seen is really limited to a handful of spots, mostly top end. I'd be happy to do a write up for you on some of my favorite spots. Let me get back to you when I can give this topic the attention it deserves.
As for Holland, I'm here working on a master's degree in Museum Studies. As you can imagine, this is a good place for it, at least from an historical perspective.
I'll get back to you soon.