I’ve only stayed at The Ritz-Carlton once in my life, but it only takes one visit to appreciate how truly decadent a stay—or a meal or even a drink—here is. After all, if it’s good enough for Danielle Steel…. (I heard on NPR on Tuesday morning that it was her 60th birthday and then saw her step out of a shiny black SUV as I was leaving the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco last night. Perhaps a b-day dinner celebration at The Dining Room?)
The Dagwood to go.
Lettuce is my idea of rabbit food, not salad. Sure greens ought to be a major component, but, in my mind, a large, leafy salad just means a lot of chewing. If I’m looking to fill up on a meal-sized salad that brings together various layers of texture and tastes to make salad chewing worthwhile, I search no further than Mixt Greens.
Zuni Café’s been in business since 1979, so there’s no disputing that they’ve got a good thing going. It’s certainly one of my favorite SF spots—even if I’ve only been three times, most recently last Tuesday night. My friend Amanda and I were originally thinking Japanese, but when Sebo’s sushi bar was not an option, we went to Plan B—wait at Zuni’s bar and order the roast chicken for two. Amanda’s a dark-meat eater, and I’m all about the white, so we’re a match made in whole-chicken-eating heaven.
A group of us ventured to Marin on Saturday to go trail running at Fort Cronkhite, and—after an hour-long Spinning class and a grueling seven-plus-mile run (more than half of it UPHILL)—we ended up at Fish. Even though the line was 30-deep when we arrived and the 20-some picnic tables outside were packed, we persevered so as to taste the creations of chef-owner Chad Callahan (formerly at Masa’s). I wish I had my camera to record our gluttonous meal, but I had no idea that we’d end up eating so well.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I dread it when I go out to eat, and the server asks: “Bottled or tap?” I always go for tap, but then feel like a second-class citizen, like riff-raff, like maybe I belong at the burger joint down the street instead. But when classy restaurants such as Chez Panisse, Incanto, Poggio, Nopa and Bushi-Tei are taking bottled water off of their menus, I can say “tap!” with gusto.
The oldest tree on Union Street was planted in 1867 and is still standing—in fact, it even has a restaurant named after it. Palmetto, the new restaurant that replaced Home on Union, opened its doors a few weeks ago and probably hopes that some of the tree’s longevity will rub off. The Mediterranean menu is the work of executive chef Andy Kitko, who was most recently sous chef at Aqua and, before that, executive chef at Bar Tartine.
Food memories have been haunting me lately. Although I’ve made SF my home, there are definitely times (usually the summer) when I toy with the idea of hopping on a plane home to D.C.—Bethesda, actually—for a brief visit. The tomatoes, peaches, corn and cantaloupe that I grew up eating have not met their fresh, juicy, perfectly flavorful match here in California—believe it or not. And then there are steamed Maryland blue crabs with a touch of Old Bay. MMMMMM.