Elegant dining in San Francisco is certainly one of the "must-do" activities for visitors and locals alike. Be sure that you do your homework before you, and your credit card, make a reservation at one of these jewels of the City.
Enjoy Elegant Dining in San Francisco
The diversity and cosmopolitan nature of San Francisco makes it home to many excellent restaurants. Some of these are particularly elegant, combining the best of menu selections, service and décor. The following restaurants are particularly interesting because of the unusual dining experience they add to their elegant dining.
Border of South of Market and the Financial District - 399 The Embarcadero South (Between Folsom and Harrison), (415) 284-9922, serving lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Nearby parking and valet parking available. Four blocks from the Embarcadero Street BART station and available by the N T and J MUNI lines.
Waterbar was designed by award-winning restaurant designer and entrepreneur Pat Kuleto with floor-to-ceiling aquariums, an open kitchen and offers breathtaking views of the Bay. The menu includes fresh seafood and local ingredients including sea bass and sea urchin cerviche, local oysters and turbot with baby artichokes. Don't miss the chocolate peanut butter silk for dessert!
Border of South of Market and the Financial District - 369 The Embarcadero South (Between Folsom and Harrison), (415) 369-9955, serving brunch on the weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., weekday lunches from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and nightly dinners from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. A bar menu is served from 2:00 p.m. daily. Valet parking available. Four blocks from the Embarcadero Street BART station and available by the N T and J MUNI lines. Reservations are available.
Pat Kuleto has designed a comfortable, sophisticated steak house environment for EPIC Steak with wood-burning grills and ovens, a massive fireplace and rich fabrics. The menu includes aged beef, fowl, pork and lamb as well as table-side prime rib service. Diners can select from a half-pound burger to Kobe beef with sides that range from onion rings with anchovy catsup to mac and cheese. Save room for the dessert menu that includes bread pudding, chocolate soufflés, crème brulee and a variety of other sumptuous meal enders.
In Sea Lion Harbor (Between Piers 39 & 41), (415) 951-4900, open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday starting at 5:00 p.m. Diners can reach Forbes Island by a three-minute ride from Pier 29 on the Forbes Island shuttle which is captained by the restaurant's owner Forbes Thor Kiddoo. Forbes Island was originally built by houseboat designer Forbes as his home. After living in the home for 23 years, he converted the home into a restaurant, added one hundred tons of sand and palm trees and turned this seagoing barge into a floating island oasis with a restaurant, 40-foot lighthouse and beautiful views.
The menu features a variety of fish, fowl and meat including dishes such as roasted duck breast, pan roasted salmon, and pan seared flat iron steak each with their own specialized side dishes. The dining experience can be enhanced by a full wine list featuring French and California wines as well as a short, but classics-filled, dessert menu.
A Final Thought
Elegant dining in San Francisco does not have to mean "expensive dining." You can potentially save on your bill by bringing your own wine (and just pay a corkage fee), enjoying the lunch menu or selecting several appetizer portions in lieu of an entrée-sized portion. Still too expensive for your budget? You don't have to eat an entrée to enjoy the ambiance. Instead, consider enjoying a cocktail and appetizer or a post-dinner drink and dessert at one of these restaurants, in conjunction with a more value-conscious entrée at another restaurant.