When it comes to dinner and cocktails, sex appeal is an essential. It’s Saturday night and you’re in a swanky new bar with an attractive partner, lingering over sips and nibbles. And what’s sexier than a little heat? Bartenders and chefs alike are incorporating smoke into their products: smoked cocktails, smoked meats and fishes, smoked salts. For a meal that’s sure to impress, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to start smokin’:
Popping up in Lower Haight’s Kate’s Kitchen, Chaparral opened last Thursday night with exciting, smoky dishes and BYOB. This weekend spot offers small plates of skipjack tuna with compressed melon, cucumber, avocado, and smoked rice puffs; lamb tartare with saffron, smoked eggplant, crème fraiche, chili, and sesame loaf; fried chicken and rabbit with charred spring onions, chimichurri, and smoked potato; and braised jowl with artichokes, smoked shellfish, black garlic, pickled ramps, and corn. Bring a bottle of wine, a sultry date, and enjoy these smoky sensations. 471 Haight St.
Nopa is always a sure fire hit for date night. To cap off a delectable meal, finish with a digestif. The Puro (diplomatico rum, oloroso, PX, bitters, smoke) will settle your stomach, appease your taste buds, and comes with quite the show. Watch as your bartender crafts this deceptively delicate cocktail and infuses it with smoke. 560 Divisadero St.
For a sweet yet smoky appetizer, try Frances’ smoked bacon beignets served with a maple chive crème fraiche. These sinfully delicious fried treats are the perfect snack to whet your appetite and will leave you craving more. 3870 17th St.
Bar Tartine’s Eastern European inspired menu takes rustic flavors like rye, pickles, and yoghurt, and paints them with a California palette. Smoked potatoes with ramp mayonnaise, one of the few dishes that stay on the menu year round, pair well with smoked pork loin with Brussels kraut. 561 Valencia St.
San Francisco’s newest Mexican restaurant and bar serves a menu focused on smoky mezcal and tequila cocktails. Try their Mexico City, made with Casa Noble Tequila, carrot juice, citrus, lavender, and lemon verbena smoke. Pair your cocktail with a tasty dish of roasted beets, smoked almonds, and habanero for a cocktail hour that will have you breathing fire. 661 Divisadero St.
This slice of San Francisco history was once a haven for actors, writers, artists, and San Francisco’s elite. Although the Beats and movie stars have long since disappeared, as well as the ability to smoke indoors, Tosca remains a legend. Feel sultry with a Manhattan and their mussel soup with smoked pancetta. 242 Columbus Ave.