Monday, May 13, 2013

Short Trip to San Francisco Part I

Last month I had the opportunity to tag along for a trip to one of my favorite cities, San Francisco. I love when I have traveled to a city enough times to no longer feel obligated to see any tourist attractions. Its a nice release to give myself permission to just wander and do or eat whatever I want!

We started our weekend at Cavallo Point the location of our wedding in 2011. It was so nice to be there and relax, have some wine on the porch and look at the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We had a light lunch at the Farley Bar and our dinner at the Murry Circle restaurant who catered our wedding dinner as we reminisced about that great day.

Saturday we headed into the city and started off the night with an amazing dinner at Canteen. Canteen is almost like an incorporated supper club. The chef has two seatings each night at 6 and 8. The menu is 4-5 courses pre-fix with wine a la carte. When we arrived I was thrilled to see the restaurant was located in what used to be the diner like breakfast space of the old art deco Commodore Hotel. This was the first hotel that I ever stayed in when I visited SF. It had been about 16 years since I had been in the space. It is now a dorm for the San Francisco Institute of Art. It was so interesting to see the transformation. The lobby is now the dorm lobby and common area and the bar is currently closed.

Commodore Breakfast Space as I knew it!

Stepping inside we were one of about 20 people lucky enough to have a seat for the night. The chef prepped our food behind the diner style counter. Smells of the warm dinner rolls (which I heard were legendary) wafted through the air.

Our dinner was amazing. Such care and detail was taken with each dish. We had an appetizer of smoked lamb with butter beans. The lamb melted in your mouth and was balanced in richness by the beans. The second course was an English pea soup filled with lump dungeness crab. This was light and fresh and tasted like spring. The entree was halibut crusted in hazelnuts and mustard. To finish was my favorite a rhubarb shortcake with homemade cakes and tart and tangy rhubarb, perfect for the nice spring night.

To extend our evening, we walked up Nob Hill to the Fairmont Hotel. In the basement is the classic and kitchy Tonga Room. It was packed with tourists, locals, wedding parties and bachelorettes. This was so entertaining. For about $20 you can position yourself in this Tiki paradise to people watch, dance, and drink something with rum out of a whole pineapple. I had not been here in over 10 years and its still as entertaining as ever!

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