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Alexander’s Steakhouse SoMa
Following the launch of its flagship location in Cupertino in 2005, Alexander’s Steakhouse expanded their menu concept—a fine dining steakhouse with Japanese influences—to San Francisco in 2010. Under the masterful direction of Executive Chef Eric Upper, this hot spot complements award-winning dishes with a robust selection of contemporary, classic, and original craft cocktails. The three-tiered dining space, with high ceilings, luxury banquette seating, and Japanese shoji screens, captures the romance and ambiance of San Francisco for locals and visitors alike.
Whitewaller recommends: Booking the Mezzanine for private dining.
Atelier Crenn Cow Hollow
Atelier Crenn artfully prepares French dishes with a focus on innovation. In a minimalist setting, guests are greeted to Chef Dominique Crenn’s careful creations, available in a multi-course tasting menu. With only eight tables, diners are vying to come back time and time again.
Whitewaller recommends: Purchasing a signed copy of Atelier Crenn: Metamorphosis of Taste.
La Cocina graduate Chef Heena Patel opened Besharam to give San Francisco bold Gujarati flavors with reimagined California influences. Relaunched in 2019, Besharam’s dinner menu is centered around sharable plates, large entrees, and vegetable-forward salads, while their lunch service includes street food favorites like Pav Bhaji mixed with all inclusive thali platters. Diners can also explore an exquisite wine program by Rebecca Lanham and a cocktail menu by Elsie Eustis.
Whitewaller recommends: Taking note of the cheeky dishware designed by HateCopy’s Maria Qamar.
COI Jackson Square
Well known in San Francisco as a modern French restaurant, COI welcomes guests to delectable dishes full of flavor. With Chef Erik Anderson wielding a creative menu full of out-of-the-ordinary and avant-garde dishes, COI strikes San Francisco with elegance for a lasting impression.
Whitewaller recommends: Picking up the Stories and Recipes cookbook by Daniel Patterson on the way out.
Quince Jackson Square
Chef Michael Tusk, and Lindsay Tusk, opened Quince to thrill guests with contemporary Californian cuisine. Celebrated for its nightly tasting menu and its unique partnership with Fresh Run Farm, the restaurant received three Michelin stars, and Chef Tusk was named “Best Chef: Pacific” by the James Beard Foundation in 2011.
Whitewaller recommends: Trying the sea urchin risotto.
The Saratoga Tenderloin
The Saratoga boasts a refined menu of contemporary American fare with reimagined classics full of bold flavor. The building was first erected in 1908, and the interior of the space reflects that, with original glamour and rustic sophistication by designer Stephen Brady. With upstairs and downstairs bars and seating areas, guests enjoy delicious dishes well into the night.
Whitewaller recommends: Savoring the Dry-Aged Flannery’s Beef New York Strip Steak.
Saison South Park
Saison is an American restaurant that constantly evolves, yet abides by a few simple constants. Cooking revolves around a wood-burning fire, and the restaurant works with a small group of fishermen, hunters, gatherers, ranchers, and farmers. There is a tasting menu prepared each evening, but guests are encouraged to share their preferences for a tailored dinner—and do the same with wine and beverages.
Whitewaller recommends: Enjoying a wine recommendation by a sommelier.
In 2010, Corey Lee opened Benu to welcome diners to contemporary American cuisine. With 50 seats in the restaurant, 14 in a private dining room, and reservations accepted two months in advance, this destination reflects seasonality, inspiration, and evolution. Wine Director Yoon Ha sources a wonderful selection of wine, artisan beers, and premium sakes, from around the world.
Whitewaller recommends: Opting for the beverage pairing.