"San Francisco"

Inn at the Presidio

Inn at the Presidio

San Francisco, USA

Old-world brick red, snow white and eucalyptus green California. If there is an image of San Francisco that makes us think of the words ‘home’ and ‘America’, it is us enjoying the view from the first floor of this inn – built in 1903 as a military office with the classic wooden colonnade. Outside the large horizontal window in our suite, we can see the strip of quiet and slightly leaning asphalt that reflects twin single houses bounded only by short-grass gardens and no gates. For centuries, Presidio was the neighbourhood of the US Army officers, and it is the green park area on the map where the magic red bridge begins, the Golden Gate Bridge that takes you to Marin County like a rainbow that ends into our pot of gold north of San Francisco, i.e. Muir Woods, Bolinas, Mt. Tamalpais, and Point Reyes.

Saison

Saison

San Francisco, USA

It may be the most expensive dinner of a lifetime, but the seasoned reserve caviar – with smoked salt of the house – will be served in an ancient French-crystal sugar bowl, the pickles of the best trout sashimi in a miniature jewel case, the farm herbs infusion (the family farm is one hour north of San Francisco) in the shape of a tiny bouquet of wild flowers in a porcelain and pure gold tea cup, and the violet asparagus bare and simply browned on a live flame. The man sitting at the closest table is a regular who comes here alone, wearing a 70s crimson suit perfect for a unique and extremely elegant rendezvous. Ask to be seated as close as possible to the long shiny steel tables of the open kitchen where the Executive Chef leads his team of industrious bees in a precise dance. Three Michelin stars and no dress code… Come as you are.

Izakaya Rintaro

Izakaya Rintaro

San Francisco, USA

Those who have been to Japan know how a typical restaurant, its Chef and the steam of its kitchen, along with the quiet cheerfulness inside, can camouflage themselves perfectly and disappear behind a street number. 82, 14th Street looks like a deserted address, but when you cross the small court made of bamboo canes, coloured windblown paper-carps and rows of lit lightbulbs you are in a perfect Japanese izakaya, with hundred-year-old cedar wood alcoves and yakitori sizzling on coal. More than every single piece of pottery, more than the small portions of ‘food of the house’, more than the delicate and skilful service, the atmosphere and the right music will be the cult things about this Mission District jewel in San Francisco.

Cotogna

Cotogna

San Francisco, USA

We always ask to seat at the marble counter, in front of the embers and of the Italian pizza oven, and in front of the youngest chef, who attends to leavened products and spreads shiny melted butter on a long strip of homemade focaccia that lies on the long wooden chopping board. We have the focaccia with the soft ricotta of the house, which is cooked in the oven in a large fig leaf inside a cast-iron pot and served with silky honey. One of the highlights of the Italian country cuisine of Chef Michael Tusk (two Michelin stars for Quince, the elegant next-door restaurant) is the handmade tortellone – filled with ricotta and creamy yolk – with melted butter, abundant Parmesan and pepper. Salted fireworks for two Italians who, in the U.S.A., book a table in an Italian restaurant only in California.

Four Barrel Coffee

Four Barrel Coffee

San Francisco, USA

First, you need to complete your morning pilgrimage to every single coffee temple in San Francisco. There, young good-looking tattooed employees grind and roast coffee beans every day, then sort trolleys of blends of the house to the best restaurants in town, where people talk about the aromatic shades of lilac, peach, or winter melon of any single-origin from Ethiopia, Colombia and Brazil, and drink tall hot mugs at breakfast while reading the (digital) morning newspaper. Then, you will go back daily to Four Barrel, on Valencia Street, because the staff are honest and sexy. You are only a few blocks away from Tartine Bakery, but by now your ritual consists of the drip coffee of the Slow Bar and of the sweet ginger and caramel bun you like to tear with your hands…

A FAIRY-TALE FOR ADULTS STILL KIDS

A FAIRY-TALE FOR ADULTS STILL KIDS

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco starts with a red bridge. At first, it’s a string of dots getting ready to dive into the water, then slowly the dots get clearer and clearer and start becoming houses, windows, fat trees along the edges of the pavements, tram going up and down a toy track. Somewhere at the back, an American flag is swinging relentlessly from side to side…

Forage

Forage

San Francisco, USA

Supports the local food community of San Francisco Bay and brings eaters together to grow community around the foods nature provides. They run multiple projects: the Wild Kitchen, for instance, is a roaming restaurant, a roving underground supper club. Sixty diners sit around the communal table, enjoying lavish 8 course meals, with each course highlighting a sustainably foraged ingredient from the local landscape. Following the seasons, menus explore forests and oceans. We receive their newsletters and whenever a new Foraging Class starts, we dream of joining this young wise group for an excursion by land or sea in search of food.

SLOW CLUB

SLOW CLUB

San Francisco, USA

Whenever the menu starts with “Homemade Granola” we feel safe. Just like at the Slow Club. It defines itself as a casual neighbourhood restaurant. Ingredients come from farms and ranches just outside the city, portions are generous and the atmosphere is cheerful. Enjoy breakfast or just a few drinks in this quiet corner of Mission.

MAGNOLIA PUB

MAGNOLIA PUB

San Francisco, USA

Magnolia is a perfect example of gastropub where they serve beers and first class food. The long menu is squeezed on a big blackboard. Abundant portions and hamburger gourmand, right on the hippie Haight Street.