April 15th, 2014

Cooking with AF&Co

Delta Asparagus and Frisée Salad

Chef Francis Hogan, Bluestem Brasserie

Serves 4

Asparagus Frisee SaladINGREDIENTS
1 bunch Delta asparagus
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon black truffle oil
Salt and pepper
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 large head frisée, green tips removed
1 ounce Achadinha Cheese Company Capricious cheese (or other hard grating cheese), shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 large eggs, poached
Nasturtium flowers (or mustard flowers or calendula blossoms), for garnish 


RTC_Consumers_aspargus1. Cut the tips from the asparagus and blanch them in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Remove the tips from the water and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by cutting off the bottom inch. Using a mandolin with the julienne blade (or the large grating side of a box grater), shred the asparagus stalks. Soak the shredded asparagus in salted ice water for 30 minutes.


2. Meanwhile, prepare the potato puree. Place the diced potato in a small saucepan with enough cold salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking until tender (about 7-10 minutes). With a potato masher or fork, combine the potato with the cream and truffle oil and mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside, keeping warm.

Vinaigrette3. To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the sherry vinegar, shallot, and mustard in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper.

prosciutto34. In a sauté pan over medium high heat, lay the prosciutto slices flat and fry until crisp. Remove them from the pan and let them cool. Crumble them by hand into bite-size pieces.

Asparagus Frisee Salad5. To assemble the salad, separate the head of frisée into leaves by cutting or tearing out the core. Drain the shredded asparagus and place it in a bowl with the torn frisée. Toss with the sherry vinaigrette and divide among 4 large plates, arranging into a “bird’s nest” shape. Top the salads with the blanched asparagus tips, shaved cheese, and prosciutto crisps. In the center of the “nest,” place a spoonful of the potato puree (this will be the anchor for the egg). Place the poached egg on top of the potato puree. Season the top of the egg with salt and pepper. Decorate the salad with the flowers and serve immediately.

March 12th, 2014

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PrintBIG Changes for SF Chefs – Announcing Eat Drink SF!

After five incredibly successful years at Union Square, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association has opted to move the Grand Tasting experience to Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center. We are excited to move to a larger space which will allows us to provide an enhanced guest experience with an additional 40 chefs and restaurants. With a new, larger space, comes a new identity—the festival will now be called Eat Drink SF.

The new brand evokes an experience that appeals to a wider audience of food and beverage lovers while celebrating the spirit of the Bay Area food culture. Join us at Fort Mason Center, July 27–August 3, 2014 to experience the tastes and flavors of the nation’s finest chefs, bar stars, brewers, and wine experts in an epic foodie festival weekend. With classes, demonstrations, tastings, competitions, parties and the Food Arts Industry Series—there’s something for every palate! Early bird tickets go on sale May 15. For more information, please visit our website here!


March 11th, 2014

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NoKidHungry_campaign_10june2Taste of the Nation | March 27 | City View at the Metreon - Join top San Francisco chefs, winemakers, brewer, and mixologists at one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, all while helping end childhood hunger. Sample delicious bites and drinks from the city’s best, browse the silent auction and enjoy an amazing evening at City View @ The Metreon. Nearly half of all children in the U.S. will be on food stamps at the some point in their life. Each ticket purchased for this event supports Share Our Strength’s efforts to eliminate childhood hunger and supports local San Francisco beneficiaries 18 Reasons and Children of Shelters. When purchasing your tickets here, use the discount code TOTNSF14AF for 20% off your ticket price!


Taste of Success | March 29 | Golden Gate Club, Presidio - Enjoy an afternoon of unlimited wine tasting, featuring over 20 California wineries. Nibble on delectable foods from local restaurants and taste unique artisan products. And be a part of the silent and live auctions featuring unique wine packages, products and more, where 100% of proceeds fund local Junior Achievement programs. Drinking wine is enjoyable enough as it is, but when you add the fact that all money goes to supporting a community program, a good thing gets even better. For more details, to purchase tickets or to volunteer for this event please visit www.jataste.org or contact Ashley Elpers at aelpers@janorcal.org.


Dining Out For Life | City Wide | San Francisco - Dining Out for Life is an annual one-day fundraising event hosted at more than 100 Bay Area restaurants, involving hundreds of dedicated volunteers and generous patrons. Each restaurant donates 25% of gross sales generated on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014. All proceeds support the HIV prevention and care services of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Help make the world a better place by dining at Canela Bistro and Wine BarbarbaccoGitaneCafé Claude Marina and Hog & Rocks.

CYNA Night of Promise | City Youth Now | May 9th
- Join together for an evening that honors the exemplary service and contribution of San Francisco Supervisor, Mark Farrell, at this annual Spring Gala. This year’s event, a Night of Promise, will feature a cocktail hour and silent Auction, the live music of “Pure Ecstasy,” MC Paul Tonelli with some extra-special live auction items and a whiskey and dessert bar after dinner. City Youth Now will be presenting five academic scholarships to college-bound youth who will share their personal stories and goals during the evening. For your tickets or to become a benefactor, click here.


A Taste of Tel-Hi | Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center | May 10th – For one night you will truly get a “taste” of Tel-Hi as the neighborhood association showcases signature dishes by local celebrity chefs. All proceeds from the event go to supporting the services and programs that serve the Tel-Hi community. The event will be an evening to remember starting from the moment you arrive on the red carpet. Bid on the array of silent and VIP live auction items, enjoy fine wines and cuisine and learn about Tel-Hi’s inspiring programs and services that continue to enhance the lives of the community members.


March 11th, 2014

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Bartlett Hall | Union Square | San Francisco

Reminiscent of old-school San Francisco, Bartlett Hall is a versatile space offering elevated bar food by former-Maverick chef Eman Eng. The menu will be focused on flatbreads featuring seasonally driven ingredients, and Bartlett Hall will be open for lunch, dinner and late night during the week, as well as brunch on the weekends. The team has enlisted Chris Wike of Golden Gate Brewing Company to handle the on-site brewing and plans to have two to three house beers on tap. The bar program will consist of barrel-aged cocktails with creative ingredients, as well as wines on tap and San Francisco-based spirits behind the bar. Stay tuned for an official opening date and follow Bartlett Hall on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up to the minute news.

PicMonkey Collage.jpgAveline and The European | Union Square | San Francisco

These two hot spots will be occupying the restaurant and bar space inside The Warwick San Francisco, at the corner of Geary and Taylor streets. Casey Thompson makes her San Francisco culinary debut at the helm of Aveline, a name that pays homage to her culinary heritage. Guests can find a menu inspired by San Francisco, showcased in a convivial space where kitchen, dining, and living are open to each other. Her vision is simple: bring the best ingredients of the season to the table in expertly crafted dishes.

Aveline’s partner, The European, is a bar and lounge offering guests an array of original craft cocktails and classic favorites in a relaxed environment. The menu, created by Master Barman Adam Wilson, is influenced by his travels and is reflective of the rich history and evolution of European spirits and cocktails. For current details follow the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

Gaspar Brasserie | Financial District | San Francisco

gaspar logoNamed for his grandfather, the new restaurant by Franck LeClerc of the Claude Lane collection is a stunning endeavor in Downtown San Francisco. The new brasserie located on Sutter and Kearny adjacent to the Galleria Park Hotel will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, serving both lunch and dinner with a focused happy hour program. The design of the restaurant will be very unique, offering guests two different experiences to choose from.

The restaurant will feature two full bars with distinct beverage programs. The more casual, bistro bar downstairs will focus on Champagne cocktails, while the lavish upstairs bar will be host to more complex cocktails. The menu will have a large selection of seafood, especially oysters, as well as traditional brasserie fare. Like Gaspar Brasserie on Facebook and Twitter for recent updates, and follow Claude Lane on Instagram for photos from the whole Collection.


March 10th, 2014

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From the century-old public transportation system to the familiar scent of every side walk in the City, San Francisco is a ‘green’ city no matter how you look at it. There is one day a year where green is everyone’s favorite color – St. Patrick’s Day! Spend your day drinking beer and eating the classics at these great joints.


Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant | Mountain View - The popular neighborhood beer garden in the Silicon Valley will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Executive Chef Colby M. Reade’s take on the classics. They will be serving Corned Beef & Hash with Eggs and Whole Grain Mustard Hollandaise, all of which is made in-house, just like everything else on their menu. They will also be serving a special Irish Cocktail with a few additional food specials and a surprise offer to anyone wearing green that day! Hours will be 11am – 11pm. They will also be celebrating their One-Year Anniversary with a blowout BBQ celebration! Read about their anniversary online here. For a reservation, call the restaurant at 650.963.9568 or visit their website here.

Slow CLub

Slow Club | San Francisco -

This fantastic spot boasts a cool, modern interior and will be offering guests some fun on St. Patrick’s Day. Chef Matthew Paul will be making corned beef from an old family recipe (he’s got Detroit-based Irish-American roots) and serving it with slow-braised cabbage and potatoes, just like he ate when he was a kid. For reservations call the restaurant at 415.241.9390 or visit their website here.

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Serpentine | San Francisco – The Dogpatch has long been referred to as the next hot spot in San Francisco, and the trend all started with Serpentine which opened in 2008. Now under the helm of Chef Deepak Kaul, the neighborhood eatery will be serving Corned Beef Hash for brunch on Saturday and Sunday (March 15 and 16), as well as for lunch on St. Patrick’s day. For reservations, please visit their website here or call 415.252.2000.


Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar | Monterey - This staple of Monterey dining overlooking the pacific coast is serving fun and fabulous fare on the greenest day of the year! Breakfast will consist of house made Corned Beef Hash and Eggs and Lunch includes Corned Beef Ruben Sandwich, Irish Corned Beef, Fingerling Potato, Cabbage, Carrots and Mustard. A special green cocktail will be served all day as well. Make your reservations online by visiting their website here, or call the restaurant directly at 831.372.2628.


Hog & Rocks | San Francisco - Chef Robin Song’s take on corn beef & hash will be available for dinner on St. Patrick’s Day at the Mission’s favorite Gastropub, Hog & Rocks. Don’t count on green beer though, they respect brews too much to taint it with food coloring. Don’t miss this opportunity by calling the restaurant at 415.550.8627 and reserving your table, or visit their website here.

Irish bank

Irish Bank | San Francisco – The Irish Bank in the Financial District has become a city-wide standard for their St. Patrick’s Day celebration. This year, guests will be getting extra lucky, as the infamous black party will be happening on March 15th and again on March 17th. The festivities start at noon, and live music begins at 3pm. For an authentic Irish dining experience, call the restaurant at 415.788.7152 or visit the website here.

February 10th, 2014

Valentine’s Day Affairs

Stressing because you don’t have plans for this Friday yet?! Don’t you worry – AF&Co. has rounded up some of the best places to take your date this weekend.


Canela Bistro & Wine Bar | San Francisco - Executive Chef Mat Schuster of Canela Bistro & Wine Bar, located in the Castro District of San Francisco, is serving up an authentic Spanish dinner for guests on Valentine’s Day. Canela will be offering three separate Valentine’s Day seatings (5:30pm, 7:30pm or 9:30pm) for $70 per person for a four-course dinner. Chef Mat will be serving dishes like Amuse of Grape and Almond White Gazpacho, Wild Mushroom Buenuelo with Tarragon Aioli, Castilian Onion and Garlic Soup with Manchego Crouton, Braised Lamb Shank with Chocolate Lentils, Leche Frita with Creme Anglaise and Honey Poached Figs among other delicious items! Reserve your romance by calling the restaurant at 415.552.3000 or visiting their website here.

The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards | Livermore - Executive Chef Matt Greco of The Restaurant at Wente WENTE-FINAL-9Vineyards is offering an amazing four-course dinner from February 14 – February 16 in honor of Valentine’s Day. Bring inyour partner and indulge in dishes like Tuna Tartare with caviar, celery root crème, smoked potato chips and sorrel, or Scallops with bacon, lentil, salsify and black truffle and winter citrus and pistachio napoleon with anise and coconut, among other items. For $96 per person, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards is the perfect, romantic setting to bring your significant other! Make your reservations for this weekend now by calling the restaurant at 925.456.2450 or visiting their website here.

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Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa | Monterey - For the month of February Vista Blue Spa at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa will beoffering guests two special Valentine’s Day inspired packages. With the For the Love of Chocolate Couple’s Package, couples can experience unprecedented views of Monterey Bay while soaking in soothing lavender rose bubble baths and enjoying champagne and fine chocolate truffles. The bath is followed by a relaxing hot chocolate massage in a private candlelit couple’s room. Alternatively, guests can opt for the Chocolate & Roses Body Polish package. Guests will be exfoliated from head to toe in a special chocolate sugar scrub, followed by a relaxing application of rich rose body cream to hydrate their freshly polished skin. To top it off, the service includes a glass of champagne and chocolate truffles making this the most decadent treatment on the peninsula.

For pricing and to make your reservation, call the hotel or spa directly at 831.646.1700 or visit their website here.


The Park Bistro & Bar | Lafayette - Executive Chef Adam Carpenter of The Park Bistro & Bar, located inside the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa is serving a delicious four-course Valentine’s Day menu on Friday, February 14th. For $75 per person, diners can indulge in items like Arugula & Prosciutto Salad, Dungeness Crab & Lobster Fondue, Slow Cooked Kurobuta Pork Chop andChocolate & Fruit Tasting for two, among other items. Guests will also take home a delicious treat to enjoy after dinner. For reservations to this indulgent evening, please visit The Park Bistro & Bar’s website here, or call 925.283.7108.

First Base Burger

Hopscotch | Oakland - Valentine’s Day will be celebrated all weekend long from February 13ththrough the 16th at popular Hopscotch in Uptown Oakland! Chef Kyle Itani will be wowing diners with very special seasonal treats on this incredible menu ($48) with an available wine and spirits pairing for an additional $25. If you are trying to “score” a little love on your plate instead of opting for the prix-fixe menu, get the “First-Base” Burger with house ground chuck, griddled beef tongue, pickled onions, sesame aioli, Kennebec chips and add soy braised pork belly for that extra something. Don’t forget the bar program either! For this Valentine’s, Co-Owner and Bar Manager Jenny Schwarz has crafted the Love & Virtue cocktail using gin, Amaro Montenegro, crème de violette and a few other surprises… What is not to love about that? For reservations and to answer any questions you might have, please call the restaurant at 510.788.6217 or visit their website here.

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Bluestem Brasserie | San Francisco – In conjunction with the American Road Trip series,  Executive Chef Francis Hogan has created a Fondue for Two Valentine’s Day menu. Inspired by Wisconsin, “The Dairy State”, this three-course menu will run from Thursday, February 13th through Saturday, February 15th and is available for $65 per person. Reserve your table for this magnificent evening by calling the restaurant at 415.547.1111 or visiting their website here.


Hog & Rocks | San Francisco - Executive Chef Robin Song is teaming up with nearby Craftsman and Wolves for a four-courseValentine’s Day dinner. This ham and oyster bar in the heart of the Mission will be offering a $55 per person prix-fixe menu, featuring a chocolate gratin and an off-menu secret dessert from Craftsman and Wolves pastry chef William Werner. A supplemental cocktail pairing (presented as tasters) from barman Michael Lazar will also be available for $20; full sized versions will be available a la carte. Reservations can be made by calling 415.550.8627 or visiting our website here.

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Starlight Room | San Francisco – Undeniably one of the most iconic buildings in the City, the Starlight Room offers guests a refugefrom the City amongst the stars. Travel 21 floors to the top of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel on Saturday, February 15th for a night of drinking and dancing like no other. For $100 a couple, guests receive a table for the evening where they can sit and enjoy the included bottle of champagne and handcrafted chocolate desserts in style. Tickets are available here or by calling the nightclub at 415.395.8595.

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Cafe Claude Marina | San Francisco – Noted as one of the most romantic restaurants in the City,Cafe Claude Marina has excelled since its opening just 5 months ago to become a staple in the Marina dining scene. Settle down in the sultry dining room for a fabulous meal that starts with a Lobster Flan with butter poached crab. Enjoy three courses for $65 and person and after dinner, enjoy a delicious digestif from their impressive collection. For reservations, call the restaurant at 415.375.9550 or visit their website here.

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Claudine | San Francisco – Valentine’s Day has become a day of endless prix fixe menus, andClaudine wants you to know that it doesn’t have to be that way! Bring a casual date or longtime lover to Claudine this Friday for Chocolate Fondue for Two with a variety of items to be dipped into the luscious valrhona choclate, including Point Reyes blue cheese, pineapple and almond rocher. For reservations, visit their website here or call the restaurant at 415.762.2677.

Claude CafeCafe Claude | San Francisco – Few things say love like live jazz, and that’s exactly what you will get when you dine at the much-loved Cafe Claude Downtown. Enjoy the sounds of Vocalist Lori Carsillo while eating your way through three courses of delicious French fare. For reservations, visit Cafe Claude’s website here or call the restaurant directly at 415.392.3515.


La Urbana | San Francisco - Redefining Mexican food since they opened, La Urbana is at it again with their 3 course Valentine’s Day prix fixe. The menu will be available for $65 a person, and features menu items such as a Scallop Wild Rice Risotto and a Dungeness Crab Tostada. There will be an available wine and spirits pairings for an additional $35. For reservations, visit the restaurant’s website here or call 415.440.4500.

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant | Mountain View – If you find yourself in the South Bay this weekend, it is imperative to stop by the craft beer mecca that is Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant for a hard to find tipple. The bartenders have also created a fun cocktail for the holiday and have shared their recipe with you below, so you can craft this cocktail for your loved one at home. For more information and to make reservations, call the restaurant directly at 650.963.9568 or visit their website above.

1oz Cherry Grey Goose
1oz Floris Apple Beer
.25oz Simple Syrup
.25oz Lime Juice
Brandy Soaked Maraschino Cherry Sinker
Sweet & Tart Sugar Rim

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into martini glass. Cheers, and enjoy!

For a deliciously casual evening without the prix fixe, you can dine at these fabulous restaurants:
Perbacco Ristorante
Scala’s Bistro
M.Y. China
Picán Restaurant
Poggio Trattoria
Slow Club

Resolution Solutions!

January 15th, 2014

Keeping a resolution can be hard to do, but don’t fret, AF&Co. is here to help. With our list of restaurants in the City and beyond serving healthy, fulfilling meals you can eat out and still be on track to a better you in 2014. Check out the below and make a reservation today! 


Alioto’s Restaurant | San Francisco - Kick-off the new year with fresh fish and fantastic views at Alioto’s on Pier 8. Visit the restaurant located on historic Fisherman’s Wharf and indulge in their Sliced Avocado Salad with bay shrimp ($11.75) or a fresh fish entree such as the Grill Broiled Salmon Filet served with seasonal vegetables and a starch of the day ($25.75). Make a reservation online or call 415.673.0183 to get your omega-3′s and healthy fish oils!

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Bluestem Brasserie | San Francisco – Chef Francis Hogan’s seasonal American menu has dishes like Stuffed Spiced Kabocha Squash with Apple Fennel, Root Vegetables, Housemade Paneer, Ginger Glazed Dino Kale, Pecans and Pomegranate ($19) – it’s like juicing but without all the work! Also on the menu is an Arugula & Red Mustard Greens Salad with Compressed Apples, Roasted Grape Vinaigrette, Pepato Cheese and Spiced Walnuts ($12) to satisfy the stomachs of those with resolutions to eat healthier in the New Year. But don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone if you get a dessert, either.

Caenal.jpgCanela Bistro & Wine Bar | San Francisco – Executive Chef Mat Schuster brings authentic Spanish cuisine to life at his delicious tapas restaurant in the Castro District of San Francisco. One of his healthy dishes is the Pimentos de Piquillo – Roasted Mild Spanish Red Peppers Stuffed with Sauteed Greens, Shallots and Goat Cheese in Tomato and Red Pepper sauce.  But who are we kidding… the calories you save will be made up in another glass of wine!

prawn salad.jpgE&O Asian Kitchen | San Francisco – Located near vibrant Union Square , modern Asian restaurant E&O Asian Kitchen is proud to offer healthy dishes year round, including an entire menu dedicated to gluten free items such as Chef Sharon Nahm’s Prawn Salad. The fresh salad packs a crunch and tremendous flavor with Gulf white prawns, cucumber, Asian fruits, cashews, onions, fresh chilies, Thai basil, mint, cilantro, lemon oil and a little sea salt. Sound delicious? For reservations and more information please visit their website here.

HI-LO-FINAL-12.jpgHi Lo BBQ | San Francisco – Hi Lo’s Northern California BBQ has a number of resolution-worthy menu items from Chef Robin Song. Start off by skipping the Beef Tendon Crisps and opt for a crunchy assortment of housemade cauliflower, kohlrabi and sunchoke B&B Pickles ($5), then opt for the Octopus with Forbidden Rice, aji amarillo and radish ($14) with a side of the Cous Cous with currants, preserved lemon, cilantro ($7) and Chantenay Carrots with Medjool date, hazelnut ($8). And get the brisket by the pound to take home for Sunday’s game.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 1.12.01 PMLa Urbana | San Francisco – Located on the Divisadero Corridor this restaurant brings cutting-edge design with creative Mexican cooking and cocktails to San Francisco. This spot has dishes that will satisfy your Mexican food craving without adding extra layers to your waistline. To start, enjoy the Ceviche de Pescado using fresh market fish, avocado, oranges and mesquite. Another customer favorite, the Pulpo a la Gallega with grilled octopus, pimenton and tetragonia spinach will leave your taste buds and stomach utterly satisfied. You’ve been good this far, right? Treat yourself to one of their incredible desserts and truly head home happy.

MY China Forbidden Rice 2.jpgM.Y. China | San Francisco – With locations at Westfield San Francisco Centre and Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, M.Y. China is proud to offer a resolution-friendly salad of Mixed Greens with Papaya and Grilled Shrimp. This light yet filling dish is healthy, but not lacking flavor – made with mango and birds eye chiles it has just the right amount of sweet and spicy. For reservations and more information, please visit the website here. If you have not been out to M.Y. China’s Graton location yet, then you are missing a gorgeous casino!

SerpentineSerpentine | San Francisco – Executive Chef Deepak Kaul is serving up a delicious roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with arugula, frisee, smoke paprika, ricotta salata and pepitas with a lime and maple vinaigrette dressing. The cozy Dogpatch hotspot has a handful of healthy options as we welcome in 2014, like the Stalker cocktail which features Tub gin, celery juice, lemon and cucumber! Why don’t they make juice cleanses like that??

Slow CLubSlow Club | San Francisco – Located in the Mission, Executive Chef Matt Paul has a healthy Stuffed Acorn Squash with quinoa, king tumpets, golden raisins, spinach, ricotta salata, saba and toasted almonds – the perfect way to round out your day of soaking up vitamin D at Dolores Park. With 13 different cocktails on the menu, there are enough options to keep you busy. Try the Bees Knees made with gin, honey, lemon and celery bitters, served up. Drink enough of them and you might be able to get a serving of vegetables out of it!

Goat Birria 3 COPITA.jpgCopita Tequileria y Comida | Sausalito – The modern Mexican restaurant and tequila bar in Sausalito serves 100% gluten-free brunch, lunch, and dinner options by Maestra de Cocina Joanne Weir and Executive Chef Gonzalo Rivera. Treat yourself for all of your hard work towards your 2014 resolutions and indulge in a little Mexican flavor with gluten-free Chicken Tinga tacos ($9/$17), Young Goat Birria ($19), Pomegranate Ceviche ($14), and so much more! Reservations can be made online or by calling 415.331.7400.

poggio2Poggio Trattoria | Sausalito – Enjoy Italian with a fresh take in 2014.  Executive Chef Benjamin Balesteri has created an array of delicious salads and seafood including Dentice Seared Red Snapper with lentils and castelvetrano olive tapenade ($28), or a Mela Pink Lady Apple Salad with arugula, goat cheese and candied walnuts ($11). It doesn’t stop there! To guarantee a good year, order the Barbabietole Roasted Beets with dolce gorgonzola crema, watercress and pistachio ($12).  Make your reservation online or call 415.332.7771.

Hopscotch.jpgHopscotch | Oakland - This upscale diner concept, located in the heart of Uptown Oakland, has become the dining gem in the theater district. Rising Star Chef Kyle Itani knows how to create Japanese riffs on American classics, and his current seasonal salads are a perfect example. His starter Sunchoke & Pomegranate Salad incorporates little gems, chrysanthemum and a light sherry vinaigrette ($8). Want something a little more? Order this one as a main dish: Roasted Stripe Bass Salad with avocado and special sesame vinaigrette ($14). These healthy dishes are the perfect way to start off your year!

PARK-2.jpgThe Park Bistro & Bar | Lafayette – Diablo Magazine’s Best New Chef 2013, Adam Carpenter spent his year tasting his way through dish after dish in order to perfect his menu at the new Park Bistro & Bar at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa. In addition to his hearty American dishes, Carpenter also added a wonderful selection of salads celebrating Northern California’s bountiful produce. One of his favorites is the Heirloom Baby Beets Salad comprised of slow cooked baby beets, grapefruit, frisee, arugula, goat cheese and hazelnuts ($11). For reservations and more information please visit them online.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 4.59.00 PMPicán Restaurant | Oakland –  Located in Oakland’s bustling Uptown District, Picán is home to traditional Southern cuisine with a twist of sensibility. For lunch, Sophina Uong has created a few lighter options such as the gluten-free Harvest Vegetable Quinoa with Brussels sprouts, scallions, pomegranate seeds and a lemon tahini dressing for $13. Lunch is served Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For reservations and the full menu please visit them online.

WenteThe Restaurant at Wente Vineyards | Livermore – Located in the heart of Livermore’s Wine Country, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards pulls the freshest ingredients from the ½ acre garden directly behind the restaurant. Executive Chef Matt Greco is featuring an amazing roasted black grouper with celery root puree, shaved brussels sprouts, black truffle and winter herb salad. The restaurant is located amidst stunning views of the golf course, and also has a 1/2 acre organic farm that supplies the produce. Make a reservation online here.

SChooners.jpgSchooners Coastal Kitchen | Monterey – Nestled in the beautiful four-star Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, this sustainable seafood restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean has an abundance of healthy favorites on their menu created by Executive Chef James Waller. To help guests stick to their healthy resolutions, Waller offers a Grilled Arctic Char with kale and a side of Citrus Salad ($26), Grilled Swordfish with broken olive Tapenade ($28), Baby Beets & Little Gems with basil oil and goat cheese ($8), and Spinach & Arugula Salad with warm grilled Portobello, egg and mushrooms ($8). Guests can make their reservations online here.

Spicy Black Bean Chili

January 14th, 2014

Chili Finished.jpgCold weather mandates warm food, and this chili does more than bring a little heat – it will warm you straight to your soul! Great for families, this dish can easily be made in a large amount and eaten throughout the week for an easy dinner or late night snack.

This recipe comes from Restaurant Beaujolais in Mendocino County, although it is credited to Greens restaurant right here in San Francisco. This dish is perfect for a cold night, which are thankfully quite relative in this part of the country.


  • 4 cups dry black beans
  • 3 cups  crushed whole tomatoes
  • 2 large finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green bell peppers (I used red because I like the color contrast)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • Spices.jpg2 tablespoons dried oregano (You can also try to approximate the famous Beaujolais Blend by substituting a mixture of dried basil, rosemary, and thyme for one of the tablespoons of oregano.)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped jalapeño chiles (2 large jalapeños) (Canned are okay — I also added a couple of chopped chipotle chiles en adobo.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 8 sprigs or 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


1. Sort through the beans; discard the funky ones and any small pebbles. Rinse well. Place the beans in a large pot and cover with water by several inches. Cover and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat and cook for about 1 3/4 hours, or until tender. You’ll need to add more water if you start to see the beans. Water should always cover the beans, so add more if the beans start to peek through.

3.When the beans are cooked, strain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water and adding it back to the beans.

3. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the cumin seeds and oregano in a small pan until the fragrance is toasty, about 10 minutes.

4. Sauté the onions, bell peppers, and garlic in the oil over medium-high heat with the toasted cumin seeds and herbs, cayenne pepper, paprika and salt until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chiles. Add this mixture to the beans and stir well. Add additional seasoning to taste.

Spicy Chili EDit5. To serve, place about one-quarter cup grated cheese in a warmed bowl, add a generous cup of beans, and dollop with a spoonful of sour cream. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon green onions, a little more cheese, and the cilantro.


Enjoy - Let us know your thoughts below!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad with Black Walnuts

January 14th, 2014


The team at AF&Co. is here to help you get through the first phases of detox after the holidays. Try making these delicious and healthy meals at home, then head to the studio for some Vinyasa yoga to really get the year started!

The Blackberry Farm chefs say this recipe convinces anyone to love brussels sprouts. Because the dish is served at room temperature, it’s ideal for Thanksgiving or any time you’re entertaining.


For the sweet hot mustard:

  • 1/4 cup (60 g) Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. hot sauce

BrusselsFor the salad:

  • 2 Tbs. Blackberry Farm smoked onion jam or caramelized shallots
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 5 Tbs. (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. (500 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup (125 g) black walnuts, toasted
  • 1 1/2 red apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cored and thinly sliced


To make the sweet hot mustard, in a bowl, whisk both mustards, vinegar, brown sugar and hot sauce. Reserve 2 Tbs. mustard for the salad; refrigerate the rest for up to 4 weeks.

To make the salad, in a large bowl, whisk the smoked onion jam, vinegar, the 2 Tbs. sweet hot mustard, 3 Tbs. of the olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are just tender and lightly browned, about 11 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the vinaigrette, add the walnuts and apples and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter and serve. Serves 8.

Open Wide for Spring Openings!

January 14th, 2014

In a City that has more restaurants per capita than any other city in America, there always seems to be a big opening just around the corner. Here is what is in store for Spring 2014 in the San Francisco dining scene!

PicMonkey Collage.jpgAveline and The European

Aveline and The European will be occupying the restaurant space inside The Warwick San Francisco, at the corner of Geary and Taylor streets. Casey Thompson makes her San Francisco culinary debut at the helm of Aveline, a name that pays homage to her culinary heritage. Guests can find a menu inspired by San Francisco, shared in a convivial space where kitchen, dining, and living are open to each other. Her vision is simple: bring the best ingredients of the season to the table in expertly crafted dishes.

Aveline’s partner, The European, is a bar and lounge offering guests an array of original craft cocktails and classic favorites in a relaxed environment. The menu, created by Master Barman Adam Wilson, is influenced by his travels and is reflective of the rich history and evolution of European spirits and cocktails.

gaspar logo

Gaspar Brasserie

Named for his grandfather, the new restaurant by Franck LeClerc of the Claude Lane collection is a stunning endeavor in Downtown San Francisco. The new brasserie located on Sutter and Kearny adjacent to the Galleria Park Hotel will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, serving both lunch and dinner with a focused happy hour program.

The restaurant will feature two full bars – one upstairs in the ‘Cognac Room’ and the other downstairs in the more casual bistro-style setting. Look for more details to surface about this anticipated restaurant in the coming months.

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Bartlett Hall

Reminiscent of old-school San Francisco, Bartlett Hall is a versatile space offering elevated bar food by ex-Maverick chef Eman Eng. While the food will remain simple and locally sourced, the bar program can be expected to have some intriguing aspects to it. While there will indeed be a small brewing operation on site, more integral to the concept will be the adventurous cocktail and beer-tail list, but we can’t give away too many secrets!