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Restaurants to Impress - April

bloomsdale spinach, vegetable mignonette, horseradish at Coi
OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER, CALIFORNIA STYLE bloomsdale spinach, vegetable mignonette, horseradish at Coi

Restaurants come, restaurants go. Such is life. However, the following restaurants are not only going to be around for awhile, they are where you need to be now. Stop hesitating, and make the reservation.

'Calcots' - new onions, black breadcrumbs, hazelnut-almond puree at Coi

1) Frances - After having been awarded a Michelin star at the Fifth Floor, then taking a three year break  from the food industry, Melissa Perello is back in the kitchen taking California Cuisine into her own hands at Frances. By shining a spotlight on fresh, seasonal ingredients, Chef Perello creates dishes that are uncomplicated while at the same time being incredibly thoughtful, balanced, and well-executed. Prepare to be impressed by the market-driven menu, the attentive service, and comfortable-yet-sophisticated atmosphere.

2) SPQR - It may not be the same restaurant as one year ago, but with Matthew Accarrino now at the helm, SPQR has asserted its reputation for being one of the best Italian restaurants in San Francisco. Although the menu is rather extensive, every dish embodies high-minded Italian cuisine that is thoughtful, creative, and perfectly executed. From the texture of each ingredient to the flavor profiles, every element of the plate is taken into consideration and deliberately combined. The Chesnut Nicchi, one of the best dishes of the year, is a stand-out amongst a plethora of delicious options.

3) Baker and Banker - Taking over the old Quince location, Baker and Banker has not only managed to not be overshadowed by the reputation of the previous tenant, but established themselves as an authoritative fine-dining establishment. Though still in its infancy, this restaurant delivers exceptionally thoughtful, generously-portioned cuisine while still maintaining an approachable, friendly environment. While everything on the menu is solid, the Meyer lemon icebox pie, with crème fraiche, candied black olives, thyme syrup represents a new take on dessert, and is a perfect example of why this restaurant stands out amongst its competitors.

4) Coi - With 2 well-deserved Michelin stars, Coi is currently, in my opinion, the best fine-dining restaurant in San Francisco. The dishes range from excellent to mind-blowing, leaving you curious (what is a fireberry?!), satisfied, and simply exhilarated. Using as many fresh, seasonal, local ingredients as possible, Chef Patterson creates a menu that is sure to amaze even the most seasoned diners - you will not only experience flavors you've never tasted before, but you will fall in love with them. The menu engages virtually every sense: touch, taste, smell, sight, allowing the diner to be captivated by food in ways they may have never considered.

While there are dozens of delicious dining options in San Francisco, these four restaurants embody the current state of the industry. By using  local, seasonal ingredients to enhance their unique interpretations of cuisine, each of these restaurants deliver extremely thoughtful, well-executed food that is sure to impress.


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