Restaurant Review

Aim for these

Delicious destination dishes at Bluestem, Marcella's, and Blackwood

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Most memorable restaurants boasts an overarching standard of quality to their menus. Other times, one dreams of specific items from certain spots. Here are a few places worth trekking out to for unique dream dishes.

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In FiDi, a Turkish gem

Perfect lamb, visionary seared branzino, and phyllo delights at Machka

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Cocktail harvest

Appetite: Goose and Gander and The Thomas bring cocktail culture to Wine Country

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Beer for dinner

BEER + WINE ISSUE Two new restaurants foreground tasty brews, and SF's unique new cider bar tickles taste buds

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Dixie

The New Southern restaurant whistles, but doesn't quite sing

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE A fledgling new restaurant is a work in progress, evolving. Often I'll visit restaurants in their opening week, then return three to four weeks later, noticing a marked improvement in rhythm and flow, if not a dramatic change in food (often first food impressions prove to be consistent).Read more »

Pläj

Traditional Swedish dishes interpreted with a fresh regional spin

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE The world has become hooked on New Nordic cuisine in recent years, thanks to Copenhagen's Noma, often referred to as the world's best restaurant for three years straight, sparking a global interest in all things Scandinavian and a new generation of chefs.Read more »

Maverick

The seven-year-old favorite's New Southern cuisine improves with age (and a new chef).

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Opened on July 13 way back in 2005, Maverick is a longtimer by modern day restaurant standards. I'd posit that it's better than ever with new executive chef Emmanual Eng, brought on last year by owners Scott Youkilis and Michael Pierce (who is also the general manager and wine director). In contrast to its more casual, younger sister Hog and Rocks, Maverick's food has grown more sophisticated and focused over the years.Read more »

Double visions

Inspired pairings: a recent spate of star chef collabs yielded gorgeous dishes

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Fresh slices

Gioia, Bakeworks, Del Popolo, Nick's Pizza ... a survey of hot new pizza parlors 

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE San Francisco is obsessed with pizza (particularly the Neapolitan kind). A recent indulgent survey of pie joints took me from Oakland's recently opened Nick's Pizza (www.oaklandstylepizza.com) — the highlight there actually being local Temescal Kombucha in jars — to brand new Bakeworks in Hayes Valley (www.bakeworkssf.com), with its potato quinoa crust pizzas. Big kudos for the Bakeworks business model: providing employment and training to those at risk or with disabilities.Read more »

Five for summer

Dive into the season with these tasty bites from restaurants new and old

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Time to dive into summer — at least nominally. These five playful dishes recently made an impression, and brought a little sunshine to the table.

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