Noeteca‘s owners spent their lives looking forward to running their own restaurant, so it’s no surprise that the French-inspired tapas spot feels comfortable in its own skin from early morning meals until late into the night. During the day, Noeteca seems like a cafe, where patrons sip on international coffees from local roasters brewed by the cup or for personal-sized French presses. At brunch menu, familiar dishes share space with ambitious French-inspired offerings—the croque monsieur becomes a croque Napoleon with slices of bread pudding layered with black forest ham and emmantaler. When the weather is nice, guests can wander out to a patio colored by a flower and herb garden to learn the sun’s secret handshake.
As evening falls, candlelight fills the dining room and guests switch their focus to wine. The award-winning list includes more than 30 varieties, each available by the glass or half-glass. For dinner, patrons can build their own cheese plates or share a tarte flambèe, Alsatian flatbreads the San Francisco Bay Guardian said have “a lovely thin, blistered crust that was a bit softer and more luxurious than a typical pizza crust”.
Food Inc. Trattoria seeks its inspiration from near and far. Beginning with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, the eatery's chefs prepare seasonally rotating selections of pan-Mediterranean bistro cuisine.
The Wine Cellar
Rather than stick with just the basics, Food Inc. Trattoria's wine buyer hopes to introduce diners to lesser known varietals and winemaking regions. Greek moschofilero, French picpoul de pinet, and a ros? of Californian carignan represent a few choices from the everchanging list. The staff eagerly recommends bottles to share with a group of friends or newly discovered spirit animals.
The brainchild of two native San Franciscan chefs, Dell'Uva sprung from a joint love of food and wine, inspired by travels around the world. After finishing culinary school, Juri McCorkle set off on a journey that carried his palate from Vietnamese markets to Swedish harvests, learning new cooking techniques and ways of saying "These are onion tears" along the way. Returning to the states with a renewed sense of epicurean adventurism, Juri teamed up with chef Jason Marcucci. Together, the two dreamed up a food and wine venue reminiscent of cozy caf?s found abroad. The result was Dell'Uva, where an extensive selection of domestic and imported varietals transports palates across the globe, from Napa Valley to Argentina. Diners tuck into tapas from a menu focused on locally sourced ingredients, along with artisan cheeses and charcuterie-cured meats. Dishes pair with themed wine flights composed of vintages from Bordeaux, bubbly wines from France, Italy, and Napa, and dessert wines. Reclining on the outdoor patio or inside amidst the warm tones of the bar and dining room, guests snack on house-cured rosemary balsamic olives, rustic pizzas, and rich desserts.
Of all the hooting and victory dancing coming from the group in the corner booth, only half of the commotion is a result of the game of Sorry! the group is immersed in. The other half occurs during breaks in the action when the competitors dig into the decadent morsels in front of them?desserts forged from ingredients such as rum mascarpone cream and homemade marshmallow. Evenings of spirited merrymaking capped with sweet treats are standard at Candybar, where seasoned pastry chef Cathleen Li handcrafts a rotating menu of cakes, ice creams, and sorbets.
To complement Li?s signature desserts, mixologists further tantalize taste buds with inventive cocktails, such as the strawberry kiss. Throughout the candlelit dining room, minimalist bulbs dangle from ceiling tracks, casting dancing shadows across plush red couches, black-and-white damask poufs, and contemporary artwork. A collection of board games infuses the dessert lounge?s chic atmosphere with a touch of whimsy and encourages good-natured rivalries between friends or high-stakes games to determine who gets the last bite of the ice-cream sundae.
Reflected in the amber sheen of The Pour House's hardwood bar, more than 40 premium wines await the judgment of cultivated palates. Polished steel taps dispense 10 microbrews, and a refrigerator cools 25 types of bottled beer. Guests lounge upon couches or perch atop stools, mixing sips of wine with bites from plates of cheese, nuts, and crackers, or meals ordered from local restaurants. In front of stacks of wooden casks, local musicians show off their skill at strumming or their speed at restringing a guitar during open-mic nights.