DailyCandy.com's recommendations for Best New Bay Area Eats
1. Uva Enoteca - Lower Haight, San Francisco
568 Haight Street (415-829-2024 or www.uvaenoteca.com)
Ritz-Carlton Dining Room alum Ben Hetzel partnered with Sommelier and General Manager Boris Nemchenok (formerly at Mario Battali's Otto Enoteca Pizzeria in NYC) to open this sleek bistro in the Lower Haight. The all-Italian wine list boasts several unique varietals from boutique wineries including a sparkling Lambrusco from Medici served quartino style. Hetzel's wife and mixologist Camber Lay, creates sparkling wine-based concoctions including the refreshing Evviva, a vermouth, lemon bitters, and pinot bianco. Nosh on snacks like on a charcuterie of locally crafted meats and cheeses served with truffled honey and cure raw scallop crudo on a rock of red salt. A sweet tooth begs for their bespoke pistachio gelato.
2. Le Club - Nob Hill, San Francisco
1250 Jones Street (415-922-2582 or www.leclubsf.com)
Once a legendary 1970's boîte where the chic communed, this swanky setting nestled within a posh Nob Hill apartment tower is the latest venture of producer Todd Traina and Bambuddha Lounge restaurateur, Gina Milano. Together the duo have successfully rebirthed the space formerly housing C&L steakhouse into a reservations-only blueblood hot spot subdivided into four intimate parlors: a bar, 36 seat dining room with velvet banquettes, a mirrored billiards room, and front lounge complete with piped leather chairs, marble tables and a chess set. You may catch a few socialites dining on Executive Chef Bob Cina's classic continentals like escargots Forestier, Maine lobster pot pie, and baked Alaska.
3. Pampas - Palo Alto
529 Alma Street, Palo Alto (650-327-1323 or www.pampaspaloalto.com)
Husband and wife team Tim and Masumi Reynders bring Brazil to the Peninsula in a three-story, 230-seat Chiurascuro-style steakhouse with exposed brick walls in downtown Palo Alto. The former pool hall ideal for large parties now houses this spacious carnivore's heaven headlined by Executive Chef John Karbowski. Waiters circulate tables with skewers of Rodizio (roasted meat) like the leg of lamb marinated with yogurt, garlic and mint or the turkey breast wrapped with smoked bacon. Diners can flip their table medallion to green when ready to be served, or red to indicate respite. After the smorgasbord marathon, save a spot for the warm blueberry-açaí crisp with vanilla bean ice cream.
4. Kasa Indian Eatery - Castro, San Francisco
4001 18th Street, at Noe Street (415-621-6940 or www.kasaindian.com)
Anamika Khanna and Tim Volkema's comfort food jewel serves up classic Indian street food made from Khanna's family recipes. There are six signature to-die Kati rolls, which are traditional dishes like chicken tikka masala and lamb curry enveloped by a buttery, crisp roti dough (think of it as an Indian burrito). Sides include chilled yogurt raita and veggie relish, all served on retro TV dinner-style metal trays. Wash it down with a crisp riesling, Belgian beer, or an Indian soda. Bold customers have the option to do "urban turban" (i.e., extra spicy).
5. Boccalone Salumeria - Ferry Building, San Francisco
1 Ferry Building, at The Embarcadero (415-433-6500 or www.boccalone.com)
Artisanal meat arbiters Chris Cosentino and Mark Pastore (of Incanto fame) open their first retail joint showcasing more than twenty handmade cured creations. Walk up to the reclaimed cedar counters and order slices of sustainably raised (and certified humane) prosciuttos and pancettas from the spiffy hanging closet. Oink out on salumi samplings in paper cones or bite into delish panini like spicy sausage with goat horn peppers and arugula or lonza (cured pork loin) with mint and peaches. Take home packaged delicacies of pâté, Easton's breakfast sausages, and brown sugar and fennel salami.
6. Taylor's Refresher at Oxbow Public Market, Downtown Napa
644 First Street, Napa (707-224-6900 or www.taylorsrefresher.com)
Adjacent to downtown Napa's new crown jewel, Oxbow Public Market, sits the third location of Joel Gott's ultimate tribute to the classic drive-ins of yesteryear. Indoor booths and outdoor picnic tables welcome gourmet comfort food lovers whose favorites include the classic patti melt, the ahi burger and the "Miss Kentucky" chicken sandwich with slaw and BBQ sauce. Their signature mini corn dogs and stellar wine lists boasting full and half bottles of many of the valley's cult favorites might be trumped by the black and white shake - chocolate syrup swirled into vanilla ice cream - which perfectly punctuates the menu at this family-friendly eatery.
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DailyCandy's second book title, The DailyCandy Lexicon: Words That Don't Exist but Should, is in stores now. It's a handy guide to the dialect of young, urban, female Hipsters.
Sample words from the book:
- bratkins, a noun, is a bad mood brought on by lack of sugar and carbohydrates in one's diet
- bro yo, a noun, is yogurt intended to appeal to men, often in flavors like chocolate or cheesecake
- cereal monogamy, a noun, means slavish devotion to one particular breakfast cereal
- drimming, a verb, means drunk instant-messaging
- fabric-ation, a noun, is the involuntary impulse to lie when the salesgirl asks what size you are
- lady business casual, an adverb, when your hoo-ha is past due for a wax
- post-modem, a noun, is the freak-out you experience when your Internet goes dead
- gabbin pressure, a noun, is the sense of obligation to chat to the person next to you during a flight
- snoopid, an adjective, means leaving an obvious trail when snooping through your mate's belongings
- SCUM, an acronym, is a Self-Centered-Urban-Male;