Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.






  • pinitbutton Cocktails Keep the Holidays Alive
four seasons sf 239x300 Cocktails Keep the Holidays Alive

The elegant main lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco

by Tiffany Maleshefski

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying holiday spirits. The bar and lounge at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco has added a number of very cool holiday-themed cocktails to its menu.

More innovative choices include the Pumpkin Pie Martini, which shakes up brandy, Frangelico, and pumpkin purée with a pumpkin pie spiced rim. Admittedly, it looks a little odd on paper, but fear not. The brandy is mild and the drink is actually on the sweeter end of the spectrum; it’s not unlike a Cosmopolitan.

Of course, the best parts of a holiday-themed cocktail menu are the beverages served hot. Given the unending rain in San Francisco, the Wassail, a yummy hot cider drink spiked with spiced rum and garnished with a clove-studded lemon twist, is a godsend. It’s tempting to order one to-go and pour it in a thermos for mobile imbibing.

Continue reading “Cocktails Keep the Holidays Alive” »



  • pinitbutton Gold versus Green at the Spa
Spa Coed Relaxation Room hi res 207x300 Gold versus Green at the Spa

The coed relaxation room at Sense, the spa at Rosewood Sandhill near San Francisco

by Tiffany Maleshefski

Perhaps this lousy economy is on the upswing after all. Sense, the spa at Rosewood Sandhill in Menlo Park, California is now offering a decadent treatment that infuses 24K gold into one of its body scrubs. In the Gold Rush Renewal, gold powder is blended into a scrub that uses raw sugar and fruit extracts. Why gold? Well, beyond being an ingredient that can’t help pique the interest of a proper spa junkie, apparently the shiny stuff is a natural anti-aging agent.

In fact, this isn’t the first time that gold has found its way into a luxury spa’s menu. Some folks (mainly those who produce gold-based products) claim that the metal increases blood circulation, thus speeding up cellular processes and activating regeneration. And there are lots of chemistry-based claims that the electrons in our skin cells are energized by the electric charges of gold, which in the long run minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Continue reading “Gold versus Green at the Spa” »

  • pinitbutton Tyler Florence Back in the Kitchen
tylerflorence 255x300 Tyler Florence Back in the Kitchen

Chef Tyler Florence

by Sophie Gayot


A few months ago, I received a phone call from a television producer to invite me to appear as a judge on one of Tyler Florence’s TV shows. Unfortunately it did not happen, which means I missed my chance to get to know the Food Network star better.
After fifteen years on television, he has decided to move back into a real kitchen and open his first restaurant in San Francisco. One reason behind the shift? His wife Tolan, who is from Marin County, wanted to move back to her home area. So here comes Wayfare Tavern, a trip back in time inspired by San Francisco Victorian-era design, featuring old-fashioned accents like exposed brick and Edison light bulbs lining the ceiling. The menu also gives a nod to the past, with classic American dishes like the Monterey Bay calamari grilled with olive oil and lemon, oysters Rockefeller and fried chicken. Located in the Financial District in the former Rubicon space, there is no doubt that Wayfare Tavern will be the new show in town.
Read more about his project on our San Francisco Restaurant News, and also see more Restaurant Reviews, Culinary Events and San Francisco Wine Dinners. 
 minilogo Tyler Florence Back in the Kitchen

A Room with a View

on June 07th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton A Room with a View
sanfranciscobay 300x182 A Room with a View

A view of San Francisco Bay from the Mandarin Oriental hotel


Since the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco is located in the third tallest commercial building in the City by the Bay, guests are sure to be getting a view—if the fog is gone. The day I went, the fog was obviously not there. And, I have to admit, I stayed in my room much longer to tour the city from my bed instead of from the streets.
At lunchtime, I arose to experience the cuisine of chef Rick Bartram at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Silks. There is no view from there, so diners can concentrate all of their attention on his cuisine: modern, light and elegantly spiced, blending local organic ingredients with flavors of the East where Bartram has worked in the past. Discover it below in pictures, before heading there yourselves. 

  • pinitbutton Low Calorie Indian Delivery in San Francisco
bowls 178x300 Low Calorie Indian Delivery in San Francisco

Green Coriander offers healthful, low-fat Indian cuisine

by Tiffany Maleshefski 


It’s dinnertime. The refrigerator is empty (yet again). You’re starving. And yes, it’d be easy to dig through the stack of takeout menus conveniently stuffed in the kitchen junk drawer, but wasn’t the point of that hour-long cardio workout and $15 salad for lunch to stay on the caloric straight and narrow? And here you are ready to undo it all in one phone call. 

San Franciscans have the option of calling up Green Coriander, a new delivery service that promises Indian takeout fare that’s light on fat and heavy creams and is instead rich with nutritious and organic ingredients.  

While earning an advanced degree in France, the delivery service’s founder, Paawan Kothari, did what every college student does: she ate at the on-campus cafeteria. Eight pounds later, she was not too keen on the cafeteria, or many to-go foods, for that matter. So she ditched her marketing career, a field she’d worked in for years, and ventured into the wide and saturated world of Indian takeout, determined to offer the world delicious Indian food that came guilt-free and full of flavor.

trans Low Calorie Indian Delivery in San Francisco Continue reading “Low-Calorie Indian Delivery in San Francisco” »

  • pinitbutton Farmstead Restaurant in California Wine Country
farmsteadmeatballs 300x225 Farmstead Restaurant in California Wine Country

Meatballs with caramelized mirepoix and tomato marmalade from Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena, California

by Tiffany Maleshefski


St. Helena wasn’t always just the cute, hip-meets-hippy town one happened to drive through on the way to Yountville. No, back in its prime, St. Helena was where you stopped, had dinner, maybe stayed a couple of nights at a bed and breakfast, so you could stroll around the main square with your hot morning buns and cup of coffee.


Farmstead Restaurant and the Long Meadow Ranch tasting room, a new venture from the people who own and operate the Long Meadow Ranch, might be what makes St. Helena a destination again, not just a picturesque pit stop.

  Continue reading “Farmstead Restaurant in California Wine Country” »



  • pinitbutton GAYOT 2010 Restaurant Issue
sophiegayotandregayot 300x178 GAYOT 2010 Restaurant Issue

Michael Cimarusti, Providence; William Bradley, Addison; Josiah Citrine, Melisse; Tony Esnault, Patina; André Gayot; Wolfgang Puck, Spago; Sophie Gayot; Hiroyuki Urasawa, Urasawa; Craig Strong, Studio. Photo Walter Mladina.

By Sophie Gayot


For the just released 2010 Restaurant Issue, we gathered seven Southern California chefs who all earned a spot on our Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list. The photo was taken at CUT restaurant in Beverly Hills to celebrate Wolfgang Puck, who was also honored as our 2010 Best Restaurateur in the U.S.


Besides the Top 40 Restaurants, we also reveal the Top 40 Cheap Eats, and much more. You won’t believe what we have to say about Food Trucks!


We’re happy to publish your thoughts on our 2010 Issue in our Forum.

The Smells of Winter

on January 13th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton The Smells of Winter
porchetta 300x199 The Smells of Winter


By Tiffany Maleshefski


Some of our best childhood memories include coming home on a frigid day and entering a warm home scented with the savory smells of the kitchen. Oh, the irresistible smells of pot roasts and winter stews left to simmer all day, or a roasted chicken crackling in the oven. The smells of a pot of meat are not to be underestimated. But we’re all adults now, so the only way to recapture that feeling is to do it ourselves, or to find someone to do it for us.


In an attempt to reconnect people throughout the Bay Area with their warm and fuzzy childhood memories Sausalito’s Poggio is offering two very meaty specials both priced under $20.

Continue reading “The Smells of Winter” »

  • pinitbutton Quattros Ferrari of Pasta Makers
chef with the machine1 225x300 Quattros Ferrari of Pasta Makers

Chef Alessandro Cartumini demonstrates his P. Nuova pasta machine

by Tiffany Maleshefski


Not every Italian chef is a pasta fiend. But executive chef Alessandro Cartumini of Quattro Restaurant at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto, CA can’t do without his $10,000, 1.5 horsepower engine P.Nuova pasta machine.


He refers to it as the “Ferrari of pasta makers,” and it churns out 40 pounds of pasta per hour: gnocchetti, sardi, bucatini, and shapes that resemble miniature crowns and luxurious ribbons of festonata; and the to-die-for beautiful crestas, resting in velvety, slightly spicy tomato sauce; mouth-watering spinach ravioli topped with fried sage; and a gorgeous rigatoni stuffed with pork and served with poached cherries.


Continue reading “Quattro’s “Ferrari of Pasta Makers”” »



  • pinitbutton Rain Doesn’t Dampen Spirits
tongaroom Rain Doesn’t Dampen Spirits

The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar at the Fairmont San Francisco


By Jeff Hoyt

Sometimes, kitsch just works. At the historic Fairmont San Francisco, much of The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar is covered by the hotel’s old swimming pool, which now features a floating bandstand. Allegedly, Ronald Reagan is among the famous people to have taken a dip in it.

Continue reading “Rain Doesn’t Dampen Spirits” »

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