San Francisco Food, Wine & Friends

Last week I spent a few days in San Francisco with a friend and we got a local’s tour of some of the city’s best restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. One of my favorite’s for dinner was Chez Papa, a French Bistro with a menu full of classics like mussels and escargot as well as Roquefort ravioli with basil and roasted pine nuts and Seared Sonoma foie gras, blackberry ginger compote and blackberry gastrique. The whole menu is amazing. I got on an anchovy kick while I was away so everywhere we went I had to have it and one of the best places we found the little guys at was an Italian bistro close to our hotel The Crescent (which by the way is home to the sweet Burritt Room bar on the 2nd floor, see above, where from 5pm til 2am they have jazz and cocktails and a great looking young crowd.) Anyway, the Italian place is called Scala, on Powell around the corner from The Crescent, and they have not one but two varieties of anchovy, the classic salty little brown ones that are amazing on thin crust Margherita pizza and also the Spanish white ones that are so good on a classic Caesar (theirs was phenomenal and Caesar salad done right is not always easy to find…) For lunch we ended up in a whole other part of town at Naked Lunch where we sampled the most insane BLT I have ever had in my life. It was made with freshly roasted tomatoes on a soft bun with the freshest bacon this side of the farm. We also ordered the spicy carrot and aioli with arugula sandwich which was also beyond. Their menu seems to change frequently so just go and don’t bother looking it up online. You can’t go wrong here. Finally, Saturday morning we couldn’t resist one last stop for brunch before taking off for the airport. A friend suggested the Starbelly cafe in the Castro which was well worth the adventure we went on to actually get there from Union Square without a car (or a clue as to where we were going…) Food adventures are definitely the way to go. The ingredients at Starbelly were straight from whatever farmer’s market they sprouted from and I had one last sinful indulgence of pizza with wild mushrooms, gruy√®re, thyme & roasted onions. Yum. The wine was fantastic as well. I ordered the Verdejo / Viura from Telmo Rodriguez. Thanks SF friends for a great time!

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