As is the case with the Napa Valley, we first visited San Francisco together 30 years ago, and re-visited many times afterwards... until we discovered France in 1998. This was the place we cemented our interested in food, wine, and things culinary. Three decades later the culinary scene has changed, so we had to relearn how to speak San Francisco Restaurant. (It's something like French, but with way easier vowel sounds.)
One evening we ate at Waterbar. The evening started with a good omen: we were led to a quiet outdoor table, with views on the Bay Bridge, pedestrians walking along the waterfront promenade nearby. Quiet, peaceful, satisfying. A bit of chill in the nighttime air, but taken care of by the patio heaters.
As is my wont, though, I worried that the food wouldn't match the perfection of the setting. For, you see, my dining companion and I like to arrange to have our dishes served in separate courses, with a paired glass of wine at each new course. (All of which we share.) Luckily, when we relayed this to our server he became enthusiastic and asked us to leave it all to him. We did, and it turned into one of our best SF dining experiences. The evening was a triumph and the kitchen was up to the lofty designs of our server.
All photos made with: iPhone 12 Pro, Photoshop CC, and a touch of arrogance.
The Golden Gate Hotel on Post Street was our first San Francisco accommodation. I sought it out to complete the celebratory tour. (Truth? I got us lost when walking from one store to another and we stumbled onto the Golden Gate.) It was still there, as were we. The decor is the same and many of the rooms still feature a shared bathroom. Prices start at $US 160 per night.
We made a follow-up visit to restaurant Boulevard... the first time was in 1993, just after Nancy Oakes opened the place. Nearly 30 years later I didn't know what to expect. But what I got was a darn near perfect evening of dining out in San Francisco.
When we were led to our table, I knew we were in for something good, for we were seated at the best table in the house, with views on the restaurant, the kitchen line, and the nicely-attired diners. Even with that kind of start, though, the food can be a worry. (You know me.) But Boulevard delivered a succession of plates that kept my spirits bright — no mean feat! Comme d'habitude we ordered our dishes to come as small, separate course which we shared.
We even shared the glasses of wine with each course. The kitchen and our server were wonderful in accommodating us. Every plate was very good to excellent. Thank you, Nancy Oakes. Thank you chefs. Thank you servers. A good time was had by all. (Well, by me at least). I'll be back before another 29 years.
Our last stop, on the day of our departing flight, was at SFMOMA to see the massive (150 works) Diego Rivera exhibit. There was a lot to see and learn about Diego, his work, and Frida Kahlo, but the best part was at the end where a huge Rivera mural, Pan American Unity, had been moved into the museum for the exhibit.