Tuesday, March 18, 2014

where i ate in san francisco (via trip styler)

there are way too many restaurants on my where-to-eat-in-san-francisco list -- 28 to be exact, which I've organized by neighbourhood and cuisine. i keep a list of restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, museums and outdoor spaces for many of my favourite cities, like los angeles, portland and new york. this practice has always guaranteed fantastic meals, whether i'm looking for a quick bite near dolores park {pizzeria delfina} or a leisurely brunch near ocean beach {outerlands}. 

i knocked a couple off my list last week and they were so good i had to share. two down, 26 to go. the only problem is that i loved these two so much i can't wait to go back.

trip styler tip: when you hear about a fantastic restaurant from a friend, in a magazine or on instagram, keep a note of it in your phone under the name of the city and how you heard about it. or, if you want to get extra fancy, make a custom google map.

state bird provisions
neighbourhood: western addition

i'm optimistically confident when i tell you this will be your most memorable dining experience in san francisco. that is, if you can find it -- and if you can get in. there's no name on the outside and their reservations are famously filled 60 days ahead, though they leave a third for walk-ins. but don't let that scare you off; once you set foot inside you'll feel welcomed. despite its hotspot status -- bon appetit named it the best new restaurant of 2012 -- the restaurant has a neighbourhood feel. while i waited for my table, i saw several diners hugging and chatting with chefs and servers like old friends.

but you want to hear about the food, i know! they serve it conventionally and unconventionally; you can order off a menu or you can order dim sum style, off carts and trays brought past your table throughout the meal. this is dangerous because everything looks delicious. the menu is always changing, but we ate: garlic bread with burrata, raw oyster with spicy kohlrabi kraut & sesame, grilled asparagus with gribiche & toasted hazelnuts, smoked trout quinoa tabouleh, steak tartare caesar lettuce cups, hamachi & avocado mousse on a seaweed cracker and pork belly blood orange salad. we finished our incredible meal with a half order of spiced almond cocoa nib ice cream sandwiches in plum fudge. {statebirdsf.com}

trip styler tip: drop by when they open or early in the evening to secure a table for the same night. i came in around 6:30 and scored a 9:30 reservation.

bar tartine
neighbourhood: the mission

sister restaurant to tartine bakery, whose cultlike following lines up out the door and down the block for bread and pastries on the daily, bar tartine is a stylish bistro where the dishes are as delicious as they are beautiful, as distinctive as they are simple. open for dinner, weekend brunch and as a sandwich counter wednesdays through fridays, this nearly decade-old restaurant is always hopping. many of the dishes are built around their famous bread, baked on site daily. vogue recently called co-owner and baker chad robertson "the cult prince of american breadmaking".

i made a same-day reservation for the very european dinner time of 10:30pm. the room and staff are warm and inviting; i loved the small touches like fresh flowers in the restrooms and the thoughtful wine recommendations from our attentive server. we ate: sliced bread with cultured squash in sunflower oil, smoked potatoes with black garlic, kale with sunflower tahini and yogurt, beef tartare on toast with horseradish, chicken in paprika sauce with buckwheat and chard and rainbow trout with mustard greens and shiitake in broth. {bartartine.com}

this post was originally featured on tripstyler.com

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