Category: Top Tastes

New Chef with Stockholm & London Roots at Reborn, Michelin-Starred Sons & Daughters

Since first visiting Michelin-starred, intimate fine dining gem Sons and Daughters (S&D) when it opened in 2010, I named it one of the top 10 new restaurants of the year. Visiting the tasting menu-only restaurant from owner and lauded chef Teague Moriarty a few times over the decade, my experiences were always rewarding in this cozy Nob Hill spot a short walk from Union Square. But I hadn’t been back in a good five years.

January 2023 ushers in a whole new era for S&D as Moriarty announced new executive chef Harrison Cheney, who came on board October 2022. For the first time, Moriarty has stepped away from the kitchen completely, though remaining at the helm of the restaurant. I was immediately excited when I heard Cheney came from years at my favorite restaurant in Sweden, two Michelin-starred Gastrologik in Stockholm, as well as The Ledbury and The Square in London and San Francisco’s three Michelin Quince. Read more →

30 Years at One Market & New Fine Dining Chef at Luce: Two Longtimers with New Life

There are longtimers, then there are longtimers. This week I talk about two. One is a 15-year-old fine dining restaurant at the InterContinental SF hotel with a new Greek chef who has cooked at some of the world’s most celebrated restaurants from London to Lima. The other is a local SF legend in the upscale mid-range zone celebrating its 30th anniversary… no small feat in any era for a restaurant. My reasons to revisit both:
—New Chef Who Cooked at Central & The Fat Duck: LUCE
—Eating Through the Decades at ONE MARKET Read more →

Red Sauce Italian Legend South of SF: Original Joe’s Westlake

I’ve been dining at Joe’s sister, Original Joe’s Westlake, under prior owners for the last two decades. Bruno Scatena opened Joe’s of Westlake in 1956, which was eventually run by his daughter, ​Melinda Scatena, who worked there since she was 14 years old, selling it as she ran into health problems. My husband, Dan “The Renaissance Man,” and I adored it in those years and it was perpetually packed as if it were the hottest new restaurant. Read more →

Tiny Fish Heaven… With Vermouth, Wine & Sherry: Anchovy Bar

Opened by Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions and The Progress in October 2020 on Lower Fillmore Street, The Anchovy Bar was a brave entrant in a brutal year. It was easily among my top few new restaurants of that year — and my top two next to Belinda Leong, Michel Suas and John Paul Carmona’s Routier… Having dined since Anchovy Bar opened, both my late 2022 and my January 2023 visit have been the best yet. Read more →

10-Year-Old Capo’s Makes Deep Dish To Top Chicago’s Best (& Kills It With Detroit-Style Pizza, Too)

I’ve called Tony Gemignani’s pizzas best anywhere since Tony’s Pizza Napoletana debuted in 2009, alongside Capo’s, which he opened November 2012, just now passing it’s 10th anniversary. Both are in North Beach a few blocks from each other, with Capo’s the Chicago pizza-focused joint, adding on Detroit-style pizzas when they reopened Summer 2020 after a pandemic shut down. Why Capo’s is still the best in Chicago and Detroit-style pizza… Read more →

December Eats Checklist: 7 Standouts of the Month

These newcomers or new menus cover the gamut, from Sebastopol (Sonoma County) treasures in Thai and pizza to SF gems in Creole/Cajun, Japanese and elevated bar food. Alongside this month’s full restaurant reviews of these exceptional spots, these seven are also worth visiting, with last month’s standouts here (as always, I’ve vetted, visited or ordered from each place reviewed): Read more →

Visionary Cal-Moroccan at Mourad SF

Mourad Lahlou’s Mourad is the best upscale modern Moroccan restaurant I’ve been to in the U.S. Mourad’s visionary Cal-Moroccan cuisine, a more upscale sibling to his long-beloved, more casual Aziza, has been a trailblazer in that category since he opened it in San Francisco’s Richmond District in 2001.

Just after I wrote this review, California Michelin stars were announced earlier this week, and I am puzzled as to why Mourad would lose its Michelin star of multiple years, especially given the tighter-than-ever service, drink pairings and dishes I experienced there last week. When not one but three dishes leave a deep impression, that already is well above the average. I’ll explain. Read more →