In our new series, 7x7 asks local chefs, artists, designers, and entrepreneurs what restaurants, venues, and getaways form the landmarks of their Bay Area (and beyond).
Oakland-raised Denise St. Onge, executive chef at the modern Italian trattoria Sorella, has been finding things to love about Northern California since childhood. Now at home in Nob Hill, where she lives with husband Seth Turiansky, chef de cuisine at Acquerello, the food maven tells us what’s in her Bay, from her go-to neighborhood restaurant to the resort she just can’t quit.
"My childhood go-to has always been Vien Huong in Oakland Chinatown," says St. Onge.(Courtesy of @iumiennetwork)
What is your go-to neighborhood spot?
My childhood go-to has always been Vien Huong in Oakland Chinatown (712 Franklin St). Every time I feel the need to reconnect with my roots, I wind up here for a bowl of ho fun. My mom and I used to eat here once a week.
What’s your favorite date night spot?
My husband (who is also a chef, he works at our sister restaurant Acquerello) and I love Mandalay Restaurant (4348 California St.) for our date night. We have our favorite dishes and it is consistently delicious every time.
What Bay Area–made item can you not live without?
The sunflower cookie bar from The Food Mill in Oakland (3033 MacArthur Blvd). I’ve been addicted since I was a kid!
The Harbor House Inn "is out of this world beautiful," says St. Onge.(Courtesy of @theharborhouseinn)
Where do you love to go for a weekend getaway in Northern California?
The Harbor House Inn in Mendocino County (5600 CA-1, Elk). I highly recommend spending a weekend here and having dinner at the restaurant. It is out of this world beautiful.
What’s your favorite day trip in Northern California?
I love driving to Monterey for the day and stopping in Pescadero for artichoke bread at Arcangeli Grocery (287 Stage Rd.) on the way back.
What California hotel or resort do you love going back to again and again?
My husband and I love Indian Springs in Calistoga (1712 Lincoln Ave). The heated mineral pool is open late and you can soak and relax under the stars.
"Commis chef James Syhabout is incredibly talented," sats St Onge.(Courtesy of @commisrestaurant)
What’s your favorite splurge restaurant?
Commis in Oakland (3859 Piedmont Ave). Chef James Syhabout is incredibly talented. Every meal I've had here has been memorable; just delicious.
What restaurant haven’t you been to yet that you are excited to check out?I’m excited to check out Nisei in San Francisco (2316 Polk St.). Chef David Yoshimura has a very unique concept and style.