Image Courtesy of Outerlands.
A culinary mecca, San Francisco leads the pack in James Beard Award semi-finalists yet again. Put simply, it’s time to tune into the myriad of dining destinations in the Bay Area. Newcomers and classics fill out this month’s Hit List to satiate any appetite; eating out never tasted this good.
Because wine comes first at chef Manuel Hewitt’s intimate space, and each dish is developed with two pairings in mind. Theme-based tasting menus offer both land and sea dishes; Winter Citrus is currently up. // Marina. Book now on Resy.
Because the accolades keep rolling in for chef Val Cantu: four stars from Michael Bauer, two Michelin stars, and now a James Beard nomination. Tacos de hongos on Oaxaca green masa are award-worthy themselves. // Mission. 415-757-0994.
Because chef Michael Chiarello’s flirtation with Spanish fare will make you blush (“Coqueta” is Spanish for flirt). Order tapas and pintxos to whet your appetite and paella if you know what’s good for you. If you’re a gin enthusiast, you’ll be in your element. // Embarcadero. Book now on Resy.
Because take advantage of the chef’s tasting — with suggested beverage pairings — and dine like a pro. Better yet, order it for the whole table and let chef Kris Toliao transport you. Pro-tip: chicken confit just hit the menu, and it’s juicy. // Outer Richmond. Book now on Resy.
Because enjoy a “taste of Portugal” with three courses for $33. Leave room to end on a sweet note with a Pudim Naõ Sei — sensational dark chocolate cheesecake. // Noe Valley. Book now on Resy.
Because Boulevard’s sister restaurant stands on its own laurels. In a recent review, San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer calls the combinations “complex and sophisticated.” The desserts are not to be missed. ‘What’s a vanilla cube’ you ask? It’s time to find out. // SoMa. (415) 247-7770.
Because prix fixe Chinese food makes dining effortless. Chef George Chen leads with a stunning course of nine essential flavors to open the palate and follows with nine courses. Pro Tip: Anthony Keels’ cocktails deliver. // Russian Hill. (415) 788-8788.
Because where there’s smoke, there’s fire food. Chef Ayesha Curry has a slam dunk with her and Michael Mina’s multi-cultural barbeque hotspot. // SoMa. (415) 543-7474.
Because have you ever tried wagyu sushi? This Japanese institution delivers a flawless tasting menu and crisp beers to wash it down. Kampai. // Lower Nob Hill. Book now on Resy.
Because romance isn’t limited to one day of the year. Snag a table at one of the most romantic restaurants in the nation and be sure to order the chocolate chestnut dessert with scotch whipped cream. // Outer Sunset. Book now on Resy.
Because serving up Martinique’s (Agricole rum-based) national cocktail “Ti Punch,” Bar Agricole lives up to its name. A James Beard nomination for outstanding bar program is worth celebrating. Cheers! // SoMa. Book now on Resy.
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