Marche aux Fleurs: A User’s Guide
French-American Cuisine | Farm to Table | Wild Seafood | Free-Range Meats | Artisanal Wines
Appetizer: cheese board with cow’s-, goat’s-, and sheep’s-milk cheeses with honey, jam, and chutney
Entree: Sonoma duck confit with ruby grapefruit, sunflower seeds, and dandelion greens
Dessert: salted caramel pot de creme with shortbread cookie
Wine: glass of Harrington pinot noir, 2012, Anderson Valley
When to Go (If You’re Craving a Burger): Stop in Thursday nights when the chefs grill up half-pound patties of Fallon HIlls grass-fed beef.
Focused Wine List: Just as Marche aux Fleurs supports small local farms by favoring seasonal ingredients, it also supports small family-run wineries, many from California regions. It means the wine list varies more, but the owners believe these artisanal producers put “more passion in the bottle.“
Pick up some house bacon to enjoy at home, made from Devil’s Gulch pork belly cured with brown sugar and maple syrup. Pick between the thick cut or billionaire style.
Reservations recommended, which can be made online or over the phone.
“The name itself refers to the outdoor flower markets of Provence, a theme reflected in both the menu and wine list … lovely garden dining; outstanding ingredients; excellent wine list.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Don't miss the house signature chocolate cake, a Marin classic.” — Gayot
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.
Orecchiette: a type of small, round pasta. It’s name means “small ear” in Italian, a reference to the pasta’s unusual shape.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Stroll the meticulously landscaped grounds of the Marin Art and Garden Center (30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard), where lush plant life grows along a tributary of Corte Madera Creek.
After: Head back to MAGC to catch a show at the Ross Valley Players (30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard), a theater that balances classic favorites with edgier new works.
Red Boy Pizza does not just make pizza. They serve decadent slices of heaven that anyone who sinks their teeth into rate high on their list.
For pizza or pasta just the way you like it, the pizzeria offers quite the selection.
Looking for low-fat, gluten-free meal options? Look no further than Red Boy Pizza.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this pizzeria offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Save money on a sitter — kids are welcome to join the table at this pizzeria.
Groups of all sizes can easily be seated at Red Boy Pizza.
If waiting to be seated isn't your style, plan ahead and make reservations.
Can't find your khakis? No problem! Throw on a pair of your most comfortable jeans and you'll blend right in at Red Boy Pizza.
Homebodies can take advantage of this pizzeria's delivery and take-out options.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Red Boy Pizza's tasty dishes at your next party.
Red Boy Pizza is a local eatery that serves up free parking.
Red Boy Pizza offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
For talk-of-the-town pizza, Red Boy Pizza is your pizzeria. Stop by for a slice or two and judge the ratings for yourself.
Just because Red Boy Pizza is quick and easy doesn't make it any less tasty. For some of the most highly-rated pizza in town, swing on by today.
If you're in the mood for a casual night out, pay Red Boy Pizza a visit and munch on some delicious pizza.
So when pizza is calling your name, head on over to Red Boy Pizza and give into your craving.
Highly regarded, the Italian food at Red Boy Pizza is perfect for diners looking for a nice meal out.
So head on over to Red Boy Pizza and send your taste buds on a delicious trip to Italy.
For true American comfort food, head to Pancho Villas Restaurant for a sandwich or side of fries.
Pancho Villas Restaurant is serving up not just healthy gluten-free meals but tasty gluten-free meals.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This restaurant also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Bring your whole brood to this restaurant, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
Check out the brews and bites at happy hour, and kick back without spending a fortune.
Whether you have a group of five or a group of 20, Pancho Villas Restaurant can seat both large and small groups.
At Pancho Villas Restaurant, the prime seating is on the patio. Come check out what all the buzz is about.
Heading over after work? Make sure to call ahead to reserve your table since crowds tend to pack Pancho Villas Restaurant on weeknights.
Forget the stuffy formal wear! Pancho Villas Restaurant's business casual dress code sets the tone for ease and enjoyment.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
Pancho Villas Restaurant can also cater your next party; call today for details.
At Pancho Villas Restaurant you can save some cash on parking when you park in the free lot down the street.
If you're more of an evening diner, you're in luck. Though all three meals are served, the restaurant's dinner menu will blow you away.
The friendly staff at Pancho Villas Restaurant are ready and waiting to cook and serve your favorite American meal.
Pay Pancho Villas Restaurant a visit today and fill up on some classic American dishes in a casual environment.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Pancho Villas Restaurant.
Go beyond just beans and rice at Taqueria Mi Pueblo, and fill up on Mexican food that delivers a star-studded performance (according to fans' out-of-this-world, lip-smacking reviews).
Taqueria Mi Pueblo knows how to make gluten-free and low-fat fare taste great, so stop by for a healthy (and flavorful) bite.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Have a few picky young eaters in the family? Not a problem at this restaurant, where the food and ambience are perfect for family dining.
Tables at Taqueria Mi Pueblo are available first-come, first-served, so be sure to show up a bit earlier on busy weekends.
No suit, no problem! The dress code at laid-back Taqueria Mi Pueblo is ultra casual.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
Drivers should plan to park on the street when dining at Taqueria Mi Pueblo's Sir Francis Drake Blvd residence.
Taqueria Mi Pueblo offers safe bike parking outside.
What's your favorite meal of the day? Chow down on breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Taqueria Mi Pueblo and taste test your way through the menu.
Experience the flavorful traditions of Mexican cooking at the highly-rated Taqueria Mi Pueblo.
So swing by Taqueria Mi Pueblo to get a bite out of your favorite Mexican dish.
Taqueria Mi Pueblo cooks up Mexican food so great you'll be craving much, much more!
Your next meal awaits at Deer Park Villa in Fairfax.
Fear not you gluten-free or low-fat eaters, you'll have plenty of choices here.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — Deer Park Villa has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Eat out with the little ones at Deer Park Villa, and don't waste time scurrying for a sitter.
Bask in the sun (or moon!) light when you dine on Deer Park Villa's outdoor patio.
Wifi access is totally free at Deer Park Villa, perfect for catching up on the news, hopping on social media, or even working.
Deer Park Villa is a prime location to dine with a group.
Who doesn't want to go out for a nice meal with buddies and your canine companion? Head over to Deer Park Villa for a good time!
Make a reservation to ensure your table is ready when you are.
You won't find a suit in here! Business casual dress is the norm at Deer Park Villa.
You can also have Deer Park Villa cater your next event.
With food this good, you'll be running into Deer Park Villa to pick it up yourself.
Deer Park Villa offers free parking just steps away from the door.
Make use of the luxurious bike racks at Deer Park Villa.
Fancy snacks do come at a higher price, but wow are they delicious.
Feel free to swing by the restaurant for breakfast or lunch, but fans recommend holding out for dinner.
For tasty Mexican fare, San Anselmo's Marinitas is hard to top.
Marinitas' menu features both gluten-free and vegan eats.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
At Marinitas, easily plan a night out with family, friends, coworkers and more — large parties are always welcome, and a private room is available for use.
Make a reservation to ensure your night goes according to schedule.
For those who prefer to dress down for dinner, Marinitas' low-key style is the perfect match.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Marinitas.
Score a parking spot on the street or drop your car off to a valet service close to Marinitas.
Store your bike safely at one of the main bike racks near Marinitas.
Want top-notch taste for less than top-dollar prices? Marinitas s mid-range cuisine is sure to satisfy on both fronts, where pennies stretch into perfectly seasoned platters.
Supper is exceptional, though the restaurant also offers breakfast and lunch.
So what are you waiting for? Dine at Marinitas and enjoy the tasty flavors of Mexican fare.
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.