Five Great Chef's Tables for Intimate Dinners with Friends
A small bunch of San Francisco restaurants offer personalized dinner experiences where the chef will cook just for your table, as if you were dining in his or her home. Here are some of our favorite "chef's tables," from a secret spot for up to eight guests, nestled in the belly of Baker and Banker's bakery to a fancy eight top with backdrop views into the kitchen at The Ritz-Carlton.
This handsome Lower Pac Heights restaurant has an on-site bakery next to its kitchen with a secret table inside it for special dinners. Chef Jeff Banker will cook an eight-course tasting menu for up to eight people, as they sit beside the action in the kitchen during service. Guests also have the option of ordering from the a la carte menu. Past dinners have included dishes like uni panna cotta with rock shrimp and tomato water-corn nage, and seared Wagyu steak with marrow-stuffed Early girl tomatoes. Book by calling the restaurant.
Chef Mark Dommen serves a seven-course seasonal tasting menu for up to seven people at a special round table right next to the open kitchen at One Market. Sitting here, diners can see the Ferry Building and the bustling chef action within a 360-degree view. There's even an option to don some chef's whites, and go into the kitchen to create one course with the chef. More information is available here on One Market's website.
Tucked away in Jackson Square, this long-standing, seasonal Greek restaurant has a gorgeous hand-carved chef's table with room for up to 24 people, right by the open kitchen. Chef Erik Cosselmon will prepare a meal for parties off of the regular a la carte menu, or arrange for customized options, including seasonal mezes, whole rotisserie lamb or a pig's head, depending on the size of the group. Click here for more information.
Chef Thomas McNaughton will cook for parties of eight to fourteen people in "the dough room," situated in the back of Flour + Water restaurant. A bit of a departure from the regular menu, meals here are served family-style in the center of the table, and may include seasonal crudos, interesting vegetable dishes (think oven-roasted eggplant with anchovies and chili), and rustic meat preparations such as roasted leg of lamb in addition to the kitchen's beloved handmade pastas and pizzas. For something a bit fancier, large parties can also book the "test kitchen" above the restaurant where parties of eight to twelve partake in an eight-course tasting menu. More info on both options is right here.
The Ritz-Carlton's new restaurant, Parallel 37, has a long chef's table with room for eight. Sectioned off from the main dining area, these seats provide a view into the semi-open kitchen where chef Ron Siegel works his magic, concocting seasonal "contemporary American" fare on the regular. Diners can enjoy an off-menu, six-course tasting menu here, along with wine parings. To reserve or find out more, click here.