The Peasant and The Pear: A User’s Guide
Eclectic American Cuisine | Seasonally Changing Menus | Pear-Infused Meals | Courtyard Dining | Michelin Guide–Recommended
Starter: Bishop Ranch salad with roasted pear, candied walnuts, and Point Reyes blue cheese on organic baby greens
Entree: slow-braised Italian-style lamb shank with demi-glace and gremolata on creamy provolone polenta
Dessert: the daily changing crème brûlée flavor, the world’s most delicious alternative to a calendar
Meet the Chef: Rodney Worth creates seasonally changing menus at The Peasant and The Pear, one of six restaurants that the award-winning chef has owned before the age of 40. Four of these have incorporated the word “pear” into the name, causing the chef to earn the title of the Pear King.
Where to Sit: at the zinc-topped bar, where the full menu is available along with chef Rodney’s favorite drink, the Spiced Peartini: Grey Goose La Poire vodka, housemade pear liqueur, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet and sour, served up with a roasted pear
Behind the Name: The Peasant and The Pear takes inspiration from the nearby pear orchard, which was once the world’s largest, and many of the menu items and drinks incorporate this signature fruit.
Inside Tip: Come on a Sunday sometime and have brunch in the outdoor courtyard.
Press and Praise
Michelin Guide recommends the restaurant, calling the food “playful and eclectic.”
On a 2011 episode of Check, Please! Bay Area, all three diners raved about the restaurant. The lamb shank, pork chop, mussels, and warm pear tart were among the diners’ favorites.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Flip through the staff picks at Read Booksellers by G.R. Doodlebug (3630 Blackhawk Plaza Circle).
After: For dessert, grab some throwback candy or gelato at Sweet Street (301 Hartz Avenue, Suite 109).
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Eat lamb top sirloin at Bridges Restaurant & Bar (44 Church Street).
Bridges Restaurant: A User’s Guide
Californian Cuisine | Asian Influences | Extensive Wine List | Urban-Casual Atmosphere | Mrs. Doubtfire Location
First course: sous vide pork belly
Second course: japanese sweet-potato gnocchi
Third course: pumpkin-spice bread pudding
Cocktail: Cucumber Revive with cucumber-infused gin, mint, and lime
Where to Sit: Mrs. Doubtfire shot its famous climactic scene here, so we recommend watching the movie 20 times in a row to figure out the exact spot where a heavily makeuped Robin Williams once sat.
When to Go: A three-course prix-fixe menu is offered Sunday–Wednesday for $29. Options include an organic salad, pan-roasted Atlantic salmon, and flourless chocolate cake.
You can easily host a cocktail party here, as Bridges offers several packages that include a variety of passed and plated hors d'oeuvres.
Throughout the year, the restaurant hosts specialty dinners (in addition to the weekly prix fixe meals). These include the Frank Family Winemaker dinner, in which five of the winery's wines are paired with the food.
Paillard: a piece of beef or veal that is pounded thin and then grilled.
Saltimbocca: a popular Mediterranean dish, usually made of veal, prosciutto, and sage cooked in wine.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Come up with interesting topics for dinner conversation by browsing the shelves at independent bookstore Rakestraw Books (3 Railroad Avenue).
After: Cap off the evening with a show at the Village Theatre (233 Front Street), which plays everything from musicals to movies.
Featuring a laid-back vibe and traditional Mexican fare, The Prickly Pear Cantina aims to please its casual-dining guests.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
The whole family can enjoy a meal at this restaurant with its kid-friendly fare.
Enjoy a meal with all your loved ones. The Prickly Pear Cantina makes it easy for big groups.
You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi.
At The Prickly Pear Cantina, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Don't like waiting to be seated? Make a reservation whether it's just you or the whole group.
The Prickly Pear Cantina welcomes laid-back diners, so there's no pressure to throw on heels or a tie.
Call The Prickly Pear Cantina for catering if you have a big event coming up.
No time to sit down? No worries! This restaurant offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
At The Prickly Pear Cantina, drivers can settle for safe parking in the lot next door.
The Prickly Pear Cantina's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Deep pockets not required! The Prickly Pear Cantina takes pride in its over-the-top flavor and just-right prices.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Prickly Pear Cantina is a great dining option for any time of day.
If you prefer casual dining, head on over to The Prickly Pear Cantina and enjoy some Mexican fare in a comfortable setting.
When you have a craving for some ethnic Mexican fare, make your way over to The Prickly Pear Cantina and indulge in an array of eats.
Five Things To Know About Esin Restaurant and Bar
Before they opened Esin Restaurant and Bar in Danville’s Rose Garden in 2008, Curtis and Esin deCarion spent a decade building a loyal following at the similarly named, but decidedly smaller Cafe Esin in San Ramon. Since expanding, the couple has had little trouble filling the larger space, where, according to reviewers on Zagat, “everything’s wonderful”. Here are a few things to know about the highly lauded Esin Restaurant and Bar before you stop in:
Esin isn’t just the name of one of the owners. It also means “inspiration.”
The owners obsess over their craft. Having met in culinary school, the married duo understandably places food on a pedestal. This reverence and passion surfaces in all of their fresh, seasonal dishes, which fuse traditional American fare with Mediterranean flourishes.
Don’t skip on wine. The restaurant’s list has been recognized by the likes of Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.
The desserts are becoming legendary. Daily bread puddings with brandy sauce are especially popular, but you can’t really go wrong by ordering the baklava, cream tarts, or classic creme brulee, either.
The deCarion’s also have another restaurant. If you enjoyed Esin, then be sure to check out Revel Kitchen (331 Hartz Ave.), which serves craft beers, craft cocktails, and upscale gastropub fare made with local ingredients.
Score your next slice at Amici's East Coast Pizzeria — this Danville joint has pizza-lovers dishing out cream of the crop reviews.
If you're looking for a mean slice or a piping plate of pasta, the pizzeria is home to a generous number of offerings.
Gluten-free and low-fat is the name of the game at Amici's East Coast Pizzeria, where eating healthy, flavorful dishes is of utmost importance.
With its kid-friendly vibe, this pizzeria is a great spot for families to chow down.
Sit outside when the weather is fine — Amici's East Coast Pizzeria has a lovely patio to enjoy a warm day.
Enjoy the vibe here with a business casual dress code.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Amici's East Coast Pizzeria's tasty dishes at your next party.
Delivery and carryout are easy options for those interested in staying home.
Our customers come for our delicious food. They stay in our free parking.
At Amici's East Coast Pizzeria, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
Prices are affordable, with a typical meal running under $30.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all on Amici's East Coast Pizzeria's menu — you can stop by whenever the moment's right for you.
Smothered in piping hot cheese and toppings of your choice, the pies at Amici's East Coast Pizzeria come highly recommended by pizza connoisseurs.
So bring your appetite to Amici's East Coast Pizzeria. This no-muss, no-fuss pizza joint comes with rave reviews.
For mouthwatering pizza in a casual setting, look no further than the highly-rated Amici's East Coast Pizzeria.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Amici's East Coast Pizzeria and enjoy a slice of yummy pizza pie.
Reviews don't lie: Similan Thai Cuisine's authentic Thai fare is chock-full of grade-A goodness.
Feel satisfied but not stuffed with Similan Thai Cuisine's gluten-free and low-fat alternatives.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Save money on a sitter — kids are welcome to join the table at this restaurant.
On warmer days, you can take advantage of Similan Thai Cuisine's al fresco patio seating.
Getting online is easy with Similan Thai Cuisine's free and convenient wifi.
The restaurant accepts reservations, so it's simple to snag a table in advance.
Fancy-schmancy attire is not required; in fact, guests are told to keep things casual.
Some say walking is the greatest thing in life. This restaurant knows it's carryout.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Similan Thai Cuisine.
Worried about finding parking? Don't fret! Similan Thai Cuisine is located near plenty of options.
Similan Thai Cuisine is a prime location for cyclists to park their bikes and enjoy a bite to eat.
Your tab at Similan Thai Cuisine will generally run you about $30 per person.
When you're ready to take your Thai fare up a notch, the all-star menu at Similan Thai Cuisine is waiting.
So when you don't feel like dressing to impress but want top-notch Thai all the same, head to Similan Thai Cuisine for the best of the best.
Thai food makes for a delicious weekend meal, and you won't find much better than Similan Thai Cuisine.
If you're looking for an authentic Thai restaurant in the area, make your way over to Similan Thai Cuisine and enjoy some good eats.
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.
When you live in a city with so much scenery, eating inside can feel a bit stifling. Here are five beautiful restaurant patios in San Francisco that allow you to order in the great outdoors.
Mission Rock Resort (817 Terry Francois Blvd.)
The restaurant group that owns South Park staples MoMo’s, Pedro’s Cantina, and Pete’s Tavern overhauled Mission Rock Resort in late 2012. Now, it’s a bayside escape with plenty of deck seating, calming ocean views, and easy parking. Try bites from the raw bar or fried seafood for lunch, brunch, or happy hour.
Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission St.)
The most popular tables at this Mission stalwart are in the romantic covered patio. In the evening, artsy or retro flicks are projected on the patio wall while sound can be played through drive-in–style speakers at each table. The movies, however, are a secondary draw compared to the Californian-Mediterranean food.
Waterbar (399 The Embarcadero S)
Waterbar is a perennial Top 100 restaurant, so you can bet on some memorable seafood with views of the bay, the Bay Bridge, and the Bay Lights—not to mention $1.25 oysters every day before 5:30 pm.
Bar Agricole (355 11th St.)
Opened by a collective of the city’s best bartenders and sommeliers, Bar Agricole is led by master drink maker Thad Vogler. Unsurprisingly, its cocktails are just as good as its seasonal food. The space’s award-winning design features plenty of redwood, concrete, and glass, plus a spacious patio that’s covered and heated during the winter months.
Biergarten (424 Octavia St.)
Biergarten takes its name literally—its only seating is outdoors, where all of its Bavarian-style street food is served from shipping containers converted into a kitchen and bar. Brews can be ordered by the half- or full-liter, but considering the long lines, it’s best to get the larger of the two before you squeeze into one of the communal picnic tables.
Photos courtesy of Mission Rock Resort, Foreign Cinema, Waterbar, and Bar Agricole; Biergarten photo courtesy of BarFlySF.
Sushi is not hard to come by in San Francisco, but so much variety means that finding the perfect sushi spot can be a challenge. Here are our picks for the five freshest, most innovative sushi restaurants in the Bay Area.
1. Cha-Ya (762 Valencia St.)
Vegetarian sushi anyone? While that may sound like an oxymoron, Cha-Ya is redefining what sushi means, veggie- and vegan-style. It’s cash-only here, and the wait can be long, but the food is inventive and the service is great. Even meat eaters should enjoy the Cha-Ya Roll: tempura-battered asparagus, avocado, yam, and carrot with Cha-Ya’s special sauce.
2. Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant (2154 Mission St.)
Never tried fried “veggie eel” before? This place has you covered, and it accommodates most dietary restrictions. There’s a vegan menu, a gluten-free menu, animal-product-free tempura, and sushi made with brown rice.
3. Roka Akor (801 Montgomery St.)
The presentation at Roka Akor is out of this world: sushi served on a landscape of salt rocks, ice, bamboo boxes, and light (that’s right, your sushi plate will glow). The tasting menu is a must-try and incorporates a wide range of different fish.
4. Tsunami Sushi Panhandle (1306 Fulton St.)
Tusnami’s classic california rolls are half off during happy hour, but the restaurant is most famous for its combination rolls. Try the Mama San with tempura shrimp and spicy tuna or the Magic Mushroom roll with salmon, snow crab, and enoki mushrooms. Also, consider adding some zing to your meal with sake or wine.
5. Akiko’s Restaurant (431 Bush St.)
Located in Union Square, Akiko’s serves up superfresh sushi—the menu changes daily based on the availability of ingredients. The kitchen focuses on serving sustainable, organic, seasonal, and local fish at high-end prices. The omakase menu will run up to $100 per person, but for sushi die-hards, it’s worth it. If you’re not feeling fish, there are non-sushi items on the menu, too, including teriyaki meats and udon soups.