Nomica (San Francisco, CA)

Nomica
2223 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114
Dining date: 12/24/16

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Nomica is a modern Japanese izakaya offering contemporary takes on Japanese drinking food. The menu has some intriguing menu items like gyoza-stuffed fried chicken wings, sous vide chicken karaage, and whole chicken baked in brioche. The restaurant was opened by the team behind Sushi Ran, a restaurant that has been serving Japanese cuisine in the Bay Area for over 30 years.

While the restaurant just opened in August, reviews have been mostly positive. My family and I came here for a Christmas Eve dinner.

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In Situ (San Francisco, CA)

In Situ
SFMoMA
151 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Dining date: 12/17/16

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In Situ was probably my most anticipated restaurant opening in San Francisco this past year. It’s both a unique and copycat concept – the restaurant exists to duplicate dishes from notable restaurants around the world, as closely as possible. It’s kind of like a rotating museum exhibit of restaurant dishes, fittingly housed in the SF Museum of Modern Art.

The “chef” here is Cory Lee, ex-chef de cuisine of The French Laundry and chef/owner of Benu and Monsieur Benjamin. He has as strong a pedigree as anyone to be able to duplicate this diverse cuisine here.

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Cotogna (San Francisco, CA) [2]

Cotogna
490 Pacific St
San Francisco, CA 94133
Dining date: 12/17/16

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I’ve been to Cotogna quite a few times now, the more casual sibling to Michelin three-star restaurant Quince. The restaurant was selected again to introduce some friends to chef Michael Tusk’s Italian cooking. We ordered a variety of things throughout the menu to share – an appetizer, a pizza, two pastas and one large format course.

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Trestle (San Francisco, CA)

Trestle
531 Jackson St
San Francisco, CA 94133
Dining date: 11/23/16

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Trestle is the second restaurant from the Stones Throw team. It opened in Jackson Square in last year, serving a rotating prix fixe menu at an extremely reasonable $35. That price tag buys you three courses with the option to have a pasta course for just $10 more. It’s really a deal for San Francisco standards. Furthermore, the pastas came with an optional white truffle supplement for $20. Our party of four ordered two extras (a pasta and a risotto) with white truffles on each.

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Bottega (Yountville, CA)

Bottega
6525 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 7/3/16

Bottega

I’ve been to Michael Chiarello’s Bottega once when it first opened, way back in 2009. I enjoyed the lunch there and always thought to come back. I didn’t think it would take me 7 years to do so (so many options, limited time!), but this time I stopped in for dinner.

The restaurant was packed on this Independence Day weekend. We lucked out and managed a corner booth in the patio which turned out to be an an ideal setting on a warm summer evening. 

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Ad Hoc (Yountville, CA) [2]

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 7/2/16

Ad Hoc

There’s plenty of good restaurants in the Napa Valley, but for me a trip just doesn’t feel complete without a stop at a Thomas Keller establishment. There would be no French Laundry on this brief trip, but a stop here at the more casual Ad Hoc was in order. The restaurant serves a 4-course fixed menu for $52, although there’s regularly a supplemental dish offered as well. Since the menu isn’t published until the morning of the meal, it’s a little bit of a crapshoot depending on what you’re looking for. We lucked out this time as this evening’s menu featured steak – a ribeye to be exact.

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