11. Marinus (2014)
Professional service, contemporary California cuisine from chef Cal Stamenov, and a 35,000-bottle wine cellar made the Bernardus Lodge & Spa restaurant a dining destination. It has been transformed into Lucia Restaurant & Bar, also helmed by chef Cal Stamenov. Marinus was on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. in 2007.
12. Masa’s (2013)
Opened in 1983 by chef Masataka (“Masa”) Kobayashi, Masa’s reputation persevered for three decades at Executive Hotel Vintage Court, with a lifetime roster of chefs that included Richard Reddington, Ron Siegel and Julian Serrano. Its final stage under chef Gregory Short, beginning in 2004, saw continued prestige, even as other fine dining standouts succumbed to the changing economy. Masa’s was on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. from 2009-2012.
13. Cyrus (2012)
Chef Douglas Keane and maître d’ Nick Peyton’s restaurant epitomized luxury, from the rolling caviar cart to its daunting tome of a wine list and impeccably light choreographed service. But following a dispute with the landlord, Sonoma County standout Cyrus closed. The pair sought a new location but unfortunately that hasn’t worked out. Cyrus was on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. from 2006-2012.
14. Seasons (2012)
Seasons was the elegant and unexpectedly welcoming dining room at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco overseen by chef Mark Richardson. The expansive fifth-floor space featured plush armchairs, curvy, contemporary wood décor, an exhibition kitchen and vast, bright views onto the city’s downtown. The space is now MKT Restaurant– Bar, a traditional yet modern space for casual California-inspired cuisine.
15. Silks (2012)
When the iconic Mandarin Oriental San Francisco hotel, the first Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group property in the United States, was sold in 2012, its restaurant Silks routed out of the San Francisco culinary scene. It had a long road with chefs that included David Kinch, Charlie Palmer and Joel Huff. Silks was on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. in 2007.
16. The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton (2011)
The Dining Room had been among the best restaurants in San Francisco after it opened in 1991. Its exquisite, formal décor, top-of-the-line wine list and ultra-professional service combined to create a showcase for the food, which had passed from the hands of Gary Danko to Sylvain Portay and, last but not least, Ron Siegel. The Dining Room was on GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. from 2005-2011. Chef Ron Siegel is now on his own at Madcap in San Anselmo, California, while the more approachable Parallel 37 restaurant occupies the space.
17. Aqua (2010)
This is where chef Michael Mina began his San Francisco restaurant career in 1991. Aqua was one of the city’s top spots for sparkling fresh seafood. Chef Mina changed the concept to his eponymous restaurant Michael Mina, which currently serves dishes with a contemporary Middle Eastern approach.