I have just returned from the most wonderful weekend in San Francisco. I lived there 28 years ago for 2 years while working for my friends, Neil and Amy at We Be Bop, a clothing manufacturer based in Bali and Berkeley. I had never lived in a city of that size and enjoyed every bit of SF and CA and still treasure my memories.
I went to SF with my sister Meg and niece Joanie (lives in LA) to visit with my nephews and family. It did not disappoint. We stayed at the Hotel Vitale which is right across the street from the Ferry Building which is Mecca to me. We flew in on Thursday and things were quite civilized at the Ferry Building but the weekend was mayhem!
We had lunch at Americano, our hotel restaurant which was delicious. We walked along the Embarcadero to see where Epic Steak and Waterbar are located. We dined at Epic that night but only two of the group had steak. We had caesar salads, crab cakes, tortellini and the guys had filet and ribeye. The view of the lighted Bay Bridge is stellar.
My sister and I had breakfast in the hotel and when Joanie woke up we went to Tartine. I have read about Tartine for years and bought the first cookbook just for the gougeres recipe which is my favorite hors d’oeuvres to serve friends with wine. It was so impressive-I am still thinking about what a wonderful bakery they have-luckily we got there before the line was too long. It was well worth the wait. Joanie had a morning bun, Meg had an almond croissant and I had the savory croissant with bacon, fromage blanc, gruyere and herbs. I went to Hog Island for oysters while the girls shopped and found they had Olympia oysters that I had never tried. It was not busy and I sat at the bar and had a dozen Olympias with a lager. Delicious.
We ate at Leo’s oyster bar for lunch and Tartine Manufactory for dinner which was the highlight of the trip for me. Everything was exquisite and delicious. The fried Artichokes are killer and as is the bread and butter with a little bit of buttermilk-interesting. Warm olives were so good. I ordered the Petrale Sole which you can only find in SF. Alex ordered the Porchetta sandwich with salsa verde, Peter ordered the half chicken that was so good, Hannah and baby Asher had steak tartare and bone broth, Joanie had the octopus with nduja and lentils that was so good and Meg had the
steak. They all had the sticky date pudding with fior de latte ice cream for dessert. It was a stellar night. The restaurant is so beautiful- it is in the Heath Ceramic building in the Mission. If you don’t know about Heath, you should. Ceramics from Sausalito originally made in the 1950’s with exquisite glazes. I have been slowly collecting them for the last 30 years. There are lots of other wonderful artists and craftsmen the are in Heath and the tables at Tartine are so beautiful, obviously made by a talented local artisan.