By: Christina Mueller
Casual but upscale dining is a national trend that only seems to keep growing in San Francisco. These restaurants turn on the culinary firepower yet keep the setting refined and luxurious but low key. Great food, a fun vibe , and maybe even a Michelin star. It is all here.
Neighborhood: The Mission
Queso. Arroz. Frijoles. The spare descriptions of dishes on Chef Val Cantu’s current tasting menu read like a puzzle. Grab a seat on a golden-hued, tufted banquette and allow the simple beauty of Cantu’s interpretation of Mexican-influenced cuisine to unfold dish by dish. Grilled Moulard duck has a surprising crystalline crunch and a quick hit of pickled heat while huevos Californios is a Californios Hama Hama Oyster w Nasturtium Oil & Jicama Mignonette - marvel of suave creaminess pricked with chile heat.
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Celebrity chef Tyler Florence is obsessed with comfort foods -- from rich, creamy risottos to "Fronion Rings" (that's right...french fry-encrusted onion rings). The Emmy-nominated chef, Food Network star and chef-owner of Wayfare Tavern and El Paseo sits down at San Francisco's Castro Theatre to talk about his latest book Inside the Test Kitchen, which gives his updated take on 120 classic recipes. Even as he's busy managing eight companies (including retail shops, media production and even tech startups), he still finds the time to give tried-and-true flavors a new and innovative spin. Whether you're a professional chef, amateur cook or foodie, this is your chance to learn what it takes to nail classic dishes and re-imagine comfort food.
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