Northern California foodie adventurers, your favorite time of year is upon us once again. Yes, San Francisco Restaurant Week is coming with 10 long, glorious days of the best, most creative, most sensational prix fixe eating you can imagine. (No exaggeration — this is happening in one of the best restaurant cities in the world afterall!) The event begins January 21 until January 30, and if you’ve indulged in the gluttonous fun before (it was formerly known as “Dine About Town”), you know how fabulous it is. However, we do want to share one bit of news on the format: The event is now being managed by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA), and in addition to Lunch and Dinner menus, they’ve added a neat menu to the mix called the Discovery Menu. This option will be uniquely available at a select number of participating restaurants and gives chefs’ the freedom to “highlight farm relationships, winemaker partnerships, new dishes or cocktails.” Basically, expect some divine wine pairings and interesting dishes.
While that’s all exciting, there is a conundrum to contend with — which of the over 100 restaurants participating should you try? We’ve decided to point you in the right direction in that department and spotlight six Restaurant Week destinations that should satisfy just about every cuisine craving you could have. Or if you want to pick and choose for yourself, by all means — here’s the full list — have at it and enjoy!
Before we move on to our suggestions — here are a few key guidelines to keep in mind as you follow your path to culinary bliss:
1) Make a reservation, make a reservation, make a reservation
2) Be patient, even with a reservation, you may still have a little wait
3) Remember that prix fixe prices don’t include tax and tip
4) Speaking of tip — be generous, the wait staff will be working double time
Now, for the food….
490 Geary St.,
San Francisco / (415) 345 2303
Discovery Menu: $85
Aveline is the debut restaurant of Chef Casey Thompson, a season-three Top Chef contestant, and as Yelp reviewers consistently validate, it’s pretty darn fantastic. The restaurant is featuring the Discovery Menu with dishes such as Braised Lamb Shank and carefully selected wine pairings.
3640 Sacramento St., San Francisco / (415) 931-5100
Lunch Menu: $25.00
As the only 2014 Michelin-Star rated restaurant participating in Restaurant Week, Spruce is a must for gourmet fans. They’ll be serving a two-course lunch, which includes a fabulous pasta entrée with crispy clams, Calabrian chili and pancetta.
Café Claude Downtown
7 Claude Lane, San Francisco / (415) 392-3505
Lunch Menu: $25.00
Dinner Menu: $40.00
As Café Claude states (and countless fans agree), this wonderful French spot is “Vintage Paris in the heart of San Francisco.” The chef is treating us all with both Lunch and Dinner menus with highlights including their wonderful Soupe À L’Oignon and Coq Au Vin. A glass of wine is also included with their dinner offering.
450 Post Street, San Francisco / (415) 956-6969
Discovery Menu: $85
At least one seafood restaurant needs to be on our Best Bet list, and we’ve selected the much-adored Farralon in Union Square. Chef Franz will feature a decadent Discovery Menu, which will have lovely wine pairings with each course. To whet your appetites, the entrée will be a seared Hawaiin tombo tuna, paired with a Pinot Noir.
1700 Fillmore St., San Francisco/995 Valencia St., San Francisco / (415) 441-3672
Discovery Menu: $85 (Fillmore Location)
Dinner Menu: $40 (Valencia Location)
Indian food lovers and those looking for a handful of vegetarian (and vegan) options should definitely hit up one of Dosa’s locations. The extensive Dinner Menu features three courses while the Discovery Menu at the Fillmore locale features four courses plus wine pairings. Menu highlights include Pyaz Ke Dulmay (sweet onions stuffed with minced lamb, ginger, chiles, cilantro, yogurt and spices) and Cashew Nut Cauliflower.
3228 16th Street (at Guerrero Street) San Francisco / (415) 489-0963
Last but far from least is Mozzeria in the Mission — if you want amazing gourmet pizza… this is the place. Their Dinner Menu looks creatively sublime with a choice of vegetarian Japanese Funghi Pizza or Peking Duck Pizza, as well as two other courses.
Are you indulging in SF Restaurant Week? Which restaurants are you excited to try? Let us know!