Rooster Run Golf Club
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The mission district in San Francisco is an eclectic hub of dining spots, markets, and culture. Boasting some of the best weather in the city due to SF’s “microclimates” - the mission is one of the most comfortable places to walk around and explore the various restaurants. Here are a few highlights of dining spots to experience in the Mission. Pizzeria Delfina: Arguably some of the best pizza in the bay area, this pizzeria is the casual counterpart to Delfina (the more formal Italian restaurant also in SF). Pizzeria Delfina has a variety of pizzas to choose from including the Broccoli Rabe (with mozzerella, hot peppers and olives) and the Panna (with tomato sauce, cream, basil and parmigiano). They also have an extensive wine list and antipastis to choose from. Tartine Bakery: You can count on a crowd at this popular bakery that carries eclairs, flourless mousse cake, bread pudding and croissants. You can also indulge in more substantial bites around lunchtime with their pressed sandwiches or Croque Monsieur. Dosa: This restaurant serves up traditional South Indian cuisine with a twist - using mostly organic and free-range ingredients. Try the “north and south” samosas, and one of their many inventive dosas like white truffle masala, or the organic greens dosa. Bi-Rite Creamery: Bi-rite is a favorite ice cream spot using organic, all-natural ingredients. They have fun flavors like coffee toffee and salted caramel, in addition to popsicles and baked goods. On a hot day, it’s the perfect place to visit and then sit out in Dolores Park with your goodies. Foriegn Cinema: This restaurant offers classic film screenings on the patio during dinner. It has a unique ambiance and has been in business for over 10 years. They have a great bar with unique drinks and top rated cuisine from award winning chefs.Read More
With upwards of 50 hills, San Fran is the second-hilliest city in the world (just behind La Paz, Bolivia). And that's not to mention the surrounding, sparkling waters of the bay. Many top area restaurants were designed to take full advantage of the city's picturesque topography. Here are our five favorite spots for soaking up the scenery while you dine. Greens Since opening in 1979, Greens has consistently ranked among the top vegetarian restaurants in the U.S., thanks to head chef Annie Somerville's creative cuisine. Somerville uses local, organic, and sustainable produce for small pesto pizzas and fire-roasted poblano chili. The restaurant's bayside location certainly doesn't hurt, either. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide unparalleled views of the Marin headlands, the marina, and the Golden Gate Bridge—call ahead for a seat with a bridge view. Forbes Island There is only one restaurant in San Francisco where you can dine underwater: Forbes Island. Situated in the middle of Sea Lion Harbor, the eatery is what Frommer's calls "a wonderfully ridiculous floating restaurant disguised as an island." The food is classic American (filet mignon, wild-mushroom risotto) and secondary to the experience: Swimming aside, the best way to get there is via a pontoon ferry leaving from Pier 39. Have your camera handy for the ride, as you'll get a great vantage point for shots of Alcatraz, the city skyline, and the hordes of sea lions sunbathing in the marina. Once you arrive, you enjoy your meal in a dining room located just beneath the Pacific Ocean. The space resembles the underbelly of an elegant ship with wood-paneled walls, brass picture frames, nautical knickknacks, and portholes offering a peep of the bay's aquatic residents. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana Peruvian-born celebrity chef Gaston Acurio has spread his native cuisine far and wide by opening iterations of his La Mar restaurants in far-flung locales, including Mexico City, São Paulo, and New York. Located wharfside, San Francisco's La Mar is helmed by executive chef Diego Oka and overlooks the Embarcadero; a seat near the floor-to-ceiling windows offers prime people watching over this bustling shopping district. The menu includes creative seafood such as pescado nikei, the catch of the day served over a bed of crimini mushrooms, ginger, scallions, and hot sesame oil. The San Francisco Chronicle recommends the causa casera, an appetizer of whipped potato, artichokes, asparagus, and avocado. The View Aptly named, The View restaurant showcases a glamorous skyline vista from the top floor of the San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel, located in the heart of the city. Thirty-nine stories above Union Square, you can belly up to the bar to enjoy a specialty cocktail such as a blood-orange sidecar martini and admire the glittering metropolis below. The food menu includes trendy takes on classic bar fare, including an Angus chuck burger and Midnight Moon macaroni and cheese. Caprice If you want the best perch from which to marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge while you eat, you might have to leave the city proper. Try Caprice, located across the Bay in Tiburon. From the eatery's outdoor patio or window-lined dining room, you can take in views of Angel Island State Park, the bridge, and the water. Dungeness crab cakes and roasted Sonoma duck are among some of the upscale American offerings on the menu.Read More
Most Top Chef finalists launch their restaurant careers right after their time on television ends. Not Casey Thompson—she spent seven years after season three traveling, all the while thinking hard about what she wanted in a venue. She met farmers, built relationships, and finally opened Aveline (plus its cocktail bar sibling, The European) in June. As the result of so much careful planning, the restaurant truly embodies Casey’s vision, both in the space and on the plate. One key part of that vision? Pigs. Casey loves to use almost every part of them, including the head. In honor of Aveline’s recent launch, we asked her about her fondness for pork, her cooking philosophy, and some of her go-to spots in San Francisco. GROUPON: One ingredient that crops up on the menus at Aveline and The European is pork. Specifically, pork from the pig’s head—pork jowl, pig cheek, pig ear. What do you like about this ingredient? CASEY THOMPSON: In general, I love any animal that tastes good from head to toe! As a chef, it’s really beneficial for me to use different parts of an animal that might otherwise be underutilized. It keeps costs down and provides guests with the opportunity to try things they may not otherwise try. There is a lot more marbling in these parts than you might think, and there are a variety of different textures in specific parts like the ear. G: Do you think that pig face is trending right now? CT: I don't know. I try not to pay too much attention to what’s “trendy.” I just want to make food that tastes good, and if it means using parts of an animal that are unfamiliar to most people and [then] educating people about them, I’m happy to do so. G: If someone hasn't tried any part of the pig’s head, where should they start? CT: I think a good place to start is with pig cheek—it’s rich and it braises perfectly! Confiting a pig cheek [at home] is easy. The most difficult part is probably finding the product, but your local butcher can help with that. G: Are there other pig dishes in San Francisco that you like? CT: The pork at Kokkari is unreal, and Namu Gaji does a pretty impressive job too! G: Aside from cooking with pig parts, you’re also an advocate for sustainability and the environment. Where does that passion come from? CT: I have a job that impacts the environment, and as such, I have a duty to make sure that my staff and I do all we can not to add to the overwhelming issues we’re already facing. I am also a firm believer in good husbandry. All animals deserve to live a good life, especially if they are giving us theirs for nourishment. It’s our responsibility as humans to recognize that. G: Some of your dishes have original ingredients with a cool, earthy vibe. I’m talking about the "ham snow" and "chicory soil" on Aveline’s menu. Can you tell us more about these? CT: Environmental elements in a dish add interesting flavors. The chicory soil contains nori, breadcrumbs, candied cashews, and chicory—all pretty earthy, you’re right. Now, the ham snow is highly technical stuff: we freeze ham, grate it over cold amberjack, and call it snow! G: You’re also creating the menu over at The European, your bar-and-lounge project with Adam Wilson. It seems like the snacks have more of an updated comfort-food feel. Is The European the other side of Aveline's coin? It absolutely is! There is a secret kid side to me with that menu and, really, it’s us having fun. I do think we have the best burger—it is so good. I want people to use both spaces! Come and eat at The European! G: To close out, can you share some of your favorite San Francisco spots to grab a bite? For coffee: Réveille Coffee Co. For breakfast (and guilty, greasy pleasures): San Jalisco For lunch and dinner: Kokkari, Kin Khao For after-hours drinks and eats: Rye, Tradition, Le Colonial For outdoor dining: The Ferry Building, Slanted Door, Cavallo Point, Coqueta This interview has been condensed and edited. Photos courtesy of Casey Thompson. The European photo by Andi Fisher.Read More
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