Lifestyle Wanderlust the March 2020 issue

Stay, Eat, Do: San Francisco

San Francisco offers a feast for the senses.
By Carrie Williamson Posted on March 1, 2020


Junior Suite at the Proper Hotel

Stay: San Francisco Proper Hotel

  • The city’s hippest new hotel is housed in a beaux-arts era, flatiron building in Mid-Market. From the Proper, it’s a short stroll to theaters, Union Square and tech company headquarters. Check out the amazing food court at Twitter (blessedly open to the public).
  • Design goddess Kelly Wearstler has created the interiors. Floral wallpapers, salmon-hued sofas, bespoke furniture, vintage rugs and cubist paintings make the hotel feel sophisticated yet surprisingly comfortable.
  • Wallpaper, modern furnishings, bedspreads and the window shades in the 131 guest rooms are a mix of patterns in black, white and gray. Among the features are plush Aireloom mattresses (handmade in California), Aesop bath products, walk-in showers and kimono-style robes.
  • The staff can help secure reservations at the hotel’s restaurant, Villon, for a pre-theater dinner or Charmaine’s rooftop bar, both of which are wildly popular.


Abalone at Angler

Eat: Angler

  • Views of San Francisco Bay from the expansive windows, tanks of live lobsters and sea urchins, and a kitchen staff diligently working the wood-burning hearth are a feast for the senses at this new seafood restaurant on the Embarcadero waterfront.
  • Chef Joshua Skenes, known for the highly acclaimed Saison, has already earned one Michelin star here. The menu focuses on freshly caught fish and shellfish that is delivered daily. The radicchio salad, drenched in a dressing of charred radicchio mixed with aged garlic and shallots and served whole, is an exquisite mix of flavors and textures and creatively.
  • Sampling of seafood >> Swordfish from Baja California grilled to crisp but juicy perfection; Dungeness crab assembled on pre-cracked claws, the sweet and salty custard served in the shell for dipping homemade Parker House rolls; bigeye tuna tartare with tomato aspic forked on a rice cracker dusted with seaweed.
  • Sharp-dressed waiters and bartenders provide polished service and are ready to assist in choosing from the pricey wine list, but, like San Francisco, the restaurant has a casual vibe.
  • Check out the Game Room Bar in the second dining room, where a variety of taxidermy unexpectedly transports you to a hunting lodge.


Eat: State Bird Provisions

  • An open kitchen of tile and stainless steel greets you at this warm and welcoming restaurant in the eclectic Fillmore District. The darling of food writers, it has earned a Michelin star for its California dim sum prepared by chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski.
  • Carts start arriving at your table as soon as you order your drink. The inventive small plates are hard to pass up—and so reasonably priced, you don’t have to.
  • Dim sum dishes, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs with black bean sauce; chilled Hog Island oysters with kohlrabi kraut and sesame; savory lamb merguez sausages with lime yogurt and almond dukkah.
  • Save room for these signature dishes on the menu: finger-licking good California valley fried quail and the sourdough, sauerkraut, pecorino and ricotta pancakes.
  • Spirits are not served, but there’s a nice selection of regional craft beers and natural wines.


Eat: Villon

  • You can dine throughout the day at Proper Hotel’s exquisite restaurant and living-room-like lounge. It is the spot for afternoon tea and a pre-theater dinner.
  • The menu offers a curated selection of seasonal dishes, elevated by the combination of ingredients and textures and Instagram-worthy presentations.
  • Asian pear and walnuts add texture to a slightly sweet chestnut and celery root soup. Pillow-soft gnocchi made with ricotta and piped from a pastry bag, French-style, is tossed with hedgehog mushrooms, kale and Parmesan. An American Wagyu steak is sliced on grilled lettuce with fingerling potatoes and a malted onion puree.
  • Kick off the evening with one of the enticing cocktails, and be sure to call ahead for reservations.


Do: Attend a Celebratory Event at Golden Gate Park

Check out the Golden Gate Park 150 website for the latest information on the special events, programming and exhibitions scheduled during the yearlong anniversary celebration.


Do: Explore the Presidio

Last year the Presidio celebrated its own anniversary—25 years as a National Park Site. It’s set on 1,500 glorious acres by the Golden Gate Bridge that afford both bay and ocean views. You can hit the beach, hike 24 miles of trails through forests, along the coast and over bluffs, and take a tour of the historic buildings of the former U.S. Army post.


Do: Watch a Yacht Race

International teams will be racing F50 catamarans, the fastest and most technologically advanced sail race boats in the world, during SailGP in San Francisco Bay May 2-3. You can watch from the grandstand on the Marina Yacht Club Peninsula just a couple hundred meters from the finish line. Purchase tickets in advance.

The Japan SailGP catamaran during the 2019 SailGP event in San Francisco

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