In the past two years, the demographics of my social circle have drastically changed. I now roll with a more international crowd, largely because of my Danish boyfriend. Over the weekend, I went out with my boyfriend and two of his/our friends that are new to San Francisco.
I’ve noticed that most of the people that move to the city jump straight into the “local” scene. While I also avoid the tourist destinations most of the time, I think it’s fun to see both sides of San Francisco. Thus, I suggested drinks at the Top of the Mark, on the top floor of the Mark Hopkins InterContinental.
The boy and I decided we wanted to really explore the tourist scene. Since we were getting drinks at one fancy hotel, we decided to kick off the evening with dinner at another. We ended up going to Parallel 37, a new restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton.
The wine list was rather extensive, and in true techy San Francisco fashion, was presented to us on an iPad. We were able to scroll through the options, and click on each for a more detailed explanation. I got a glass of Brut, and he ordered a lovey glass of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Forgive me for not remembering the exact bottles.
To start, we split Kampachi Sashimi. The fish itself was not remarkable, but the preparation was delicious. I probably couldn’t have eaten a whole plate alone, so I’m glad we opted to share (the photo shows half),
For my entree. I ordered salmon. It was served with sugar snap peas, potato gnocchi, and a saffron sauce. It was DELICIOUS! Complex but not overwhelming, substantial but not too heavy… I loved it. My boyfriend ordered a halibut dish that came with a bacon morel sauce. It too was tasty, but it was very rich!
We passed on dessert since we had another stop on the agenda, but we did take a look at the menu. They had some interesting options. Each dish had some surprise element that made a classic dish become something unique.
Will I go again? Only for a special occasion. It was a good overall experience (service was very attentive!), but I would normally opt for a more relaxed atmosphere with a lower average age of dinner guests.
Next stop: the Top of the Mark! This bar features light dining, but is best known for the 360 degree views of the city from the top of Nob Hill and a drink menu boasting 100 martinis. Most nights, including the night we went, they offer live music as well.
I was with a group of entrepreneurs, so they all checked into FourSquare upon arrival. In doing so, they learned of a special FourSquare cocktail. Two of the four chose to try the nerd special (my title for the FourSquare drink), while the other two of us went with bourbon cocktails. My Kentucky Tea– bourbon, honey, lemon juice, and Sprite– was great. The other drink– Blue Curaçao, orange juice, vodka, etc.– tasted a bit too much like fruit punch for my taste.
We enjoyed the views and music, but left when a pair of cougars asked young men at a neighboring table to dance. Will I go again? Yes. Probably when my parents visit.
It was fun to live the glamorous life for a night, but I’ll admit it was over the top. It’s always nice to explore the many dining and drinking opportunities in San Francisco though!
We ended the night with a lovely bottle of Zinfandel (Old Vine Red from Marietta Cellars) at Amelie, one of my favorite Polk Street stops. Will I go again? Definitely! Next weekend, perhaps.