In Hilton San Francisco, 333 O’Farrell St./Mason St., 2 blks. from Union Square, (415) 923-4400. B-L-D daiily; $$$. Reservations accepted.
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This inviting, spacious venue features booths and tables, a ceiling with rustic beams made of reclaimed wood, and a signature full-size horse sculpture made with recycled metal. The seasonal menu of organic Mediterranean-inspired fare might include a flavorful braised beef Daube casserole, a perfect portion of hanger steak, or a whole de-boned snapper for two. Diners choose from a variety of sauces to flavor the simply grilled items (black pepper and Armagnac pairs nicely with steak), and side dishes include french fries in a cone, smooth garlic mashed potatoes, and perhaps some roasted Brussels sprouts or mushrooms with garlic—all served attractively in heat-retaining cast iron serveware. Salads include a spare but delicious Nicoise with olive oil-poached tuna. A white peach Bellini is a cocktail option, and sometimes a blissful poached pear sundae with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and toasted almonds is a dessert selection. The kitchen seems to hit the perfect note on everything, so order fearlessly.
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