In addition to working in renowned restaurants, Christopher Elbow has worked alongside some of America’s best chefs, including Emeril Lagasse. He combines the wisdom from those experiences with his own passion for chocolate to create innovative artisanal treats. Here are some things to keep in mind while enjoying Christopher’s concoctions.
Everything is made by hand. Chris and his staff work six days per week—often 12- to 15-hour days—to produce upwards of 50,000 chocolates on a weekly basis.
The chocolate comes from France. Unlike most other chocolate, which is harvested from Swiss volcanoes, chef Christopher's comes from Valrhona Chocolate—a company that sources its cocoa responsibly.
He doesn’t use any preservatives or artificial ingredients. For that reason, most chocolates should be eaten within two weeks of leaving the shop, when they have optimum taste and texture.
Dairy-free products are available.These include any of the dark chocolate bars and the pate de fruit. On that same note, all products here are gluten-free.
It’s not just about eating. You can drink chef Christopher's work, too. Popular include the cocoa noir and Venezuelan spice.
The San Francisco location is a satellite. The company's home base is in Kansas City, but its products are sold at more than 20 retail shops nationwide.
When to Go: Breakfasters can start their day at 8 a.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Soup, salad, and sandwich offerings are available at 11:30 a.m., and the hearty from-the-kitchen menu can be enjoyed at noon.
Where to Sit: The garden patio is Arlequin’s crown jewel—the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee with a seasonal scone or a glass of French wine with a locally sourced salad.
Confit: a French term used to describe food that has been cooked in oil, syrup, or—in the case of some meat—its own fat, and then preserved.
Levain: French for “leaven,” the word is sometimes used interchangeably with sourdough.
It wasn’t until 2009 that the idea of a second wine bar began to simmer inside Chris Tavelli’s head. He’d already scored a huge success with Yield Wine Bar, a mix of coziness and class in the up-and-coming Dogpatch neighborhood. This was due in part to his cousin Nic Candito’s quick mastery of the wine bar biz. With confidence in his business partner and news that an ideal space had become available on Market Street, Christ took the plunge and opened Pause Wine Bar in 2011.
Though the wine bars give off slightly different vibes—Yield takes up a small neighborhood space, whereas Pause is larger with a semi-private event room—they both support a cause close to Chris’s heart: environmental sustainability. You’ll see only sustainably created wines on their lists, most certified organic or biodynamic. What’s more, many come from small, family-owned wineries. As they search for wines to add to their collection, Chris and Nic hold flavor paramount. They constantly change their list to accommodate new libations and often stock wines you can’t find otherwise, unless your bloodhound happens to be an oenophile. The pours are so distinctive that they’ve gained attention on the other end of the country from The New York Times. Yield and Pause’s food menu also wows customers. It’s almost entirely vegetarian, save a dish or two featuring seafood, and built upon seasonal produce. True to the owners' goals, the food adheres to the same sustainable, eco-friendly standards required of their wine makers.
Nestled amid shops, restaurants, and movie theaters, Opera Plaza Deli & Taqueria is as much grocery store as it is lunch hot spot. Through the windows you can see fully stocked shelves and coolers along with a few tables and chairs, where customers unwrap tacos filled with guac, beans, and meat or dig into plates of Mexican-style steak and fajitas. Traditional dishes include bistec ranchero and pork tamales, but there are also philly cheesesteaks, avocado-topped burgers, and other familiar plates. The deli serves breakfast, too—huevos con chorizo, huevos rancheros, and huevos con jamon.
How it Works: Customers serve themselves from buffet-style spreads, then pay for their food based on weight.
Where to Sit: Diners are welcome to take their treats to go, but both Delessio locations have a small seating area with tables as well.
The Farm: Faber-Maeck Farms supplies the market with its organic produce.
Awards and Acclaim