Best of the Bay 2011: BEST ROBBER BAR-ROOM

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Revisit the era of California's four robber barons — those capitalist tycoons who plundered their way to railroad riches in gold-rushing 19th-century California — at the Huntington Hotel's Big Four Restaurant. Kitty-corner from the austere spires of Grace Cathedral (built on the earthquake-ravaged land of the Big Four's Charles Crocker himself), the Bay's premier lounge pianist Michael Parsons tinkles the joint's keys while congenial barkeeps Ty and Jeffrey reside behind a 10-stool counter of gleaming brass. Join the boys at the bar or settle into leather-cushioned table seating for chef Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls' specialty: wild game. Eat your meat and gaze upon the historic framed photos lining the walls.

1075 California, SF. (415) 771-1140, www.big4restaurant.com

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