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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Hog Island Oyster Co (Napa, CA)

Hog Island Oyster Co
Oxbow Public Market
610 1st St
Napa, CA 94559
Dining date: 7/2/16

Hog Island

Hog Island Oyster Co. is based out of Tomales Bay, just north of San Francisco, with oyster bar locations in both San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Napa’s Oxbow Market. As its name implies, the restaurant serves up fresh oysters and other shellfish of all varieties, prepared very simply.

I’ve been to both the SF and Napa locations a couple of times. They’ve been very popular with both locals and tourists; lengthy waits are commonplace at this no-reservations spot especially on weekends. While spending the long holiday weekend in Napa, I stopped in for a lunch meal.

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