Valentine's Day is coming up.
Part and parcel: figuring out where to take your plus-one/partner/beloved for an acceptable commingling of romance and deliciousness.
To that end? A day's worth of dining from chocolatier extraordinaire Michael Recchiuti, a man who knows a thing or two about elegance, dining, and the durable partnership — given that he runs his business with wife Jacky.
Take your choice: brunch, lunch, drinks or dinner. All of his picks aim to please.
Sundays tend to be our lazy day when we can sleep in and roll out of bed after reading the New York Times (OK, and the Sunday Chronicle). “Lazy” being the operative word, Jacky and I toddle over to our neighborhood favorite, ‘āina, for brunch, since we live a block up from the restaurant. To start we go straight for the Spam Musubi – Jacky always says she’s embarrassed to admit this, but having been raised on Oahu, spam is not foreign to her diet — the salty porkiness over sticky white rice is comfort food to her —and I love it as well. The chicken katsu also has a place in our heart, as does the malasada for dessert.
Perbacco is our go-to when we need to chill and remember to take a breath. The open space, soothing and friendly service professional, and the wine selection are all outstanding. I love their tajarin tagliatelle (housemade of course!), pork sugo, porcini mushroom and salsiccia di bra (sausage seasoned with fennel or anise). Needless to say, anything Italian is my comfort food, so Jacky knows that she doesn’t have to twist my arm to pop in for a meal.
Terroir wine bar is a favorite —we love that it looks and feels like some of the wine bars where we hung out in Paris. Only Terroir specializes in organic and bio-dynamic grape producers. I always let them suggest wines because I like to try something new that they’ve just brought in, rather than choosing my own wine. Jacky and I will tell them what mood we’re in — bubbles, white, rosé or red — and let them choose. We love to just swing by for a quick glass on one of our city walkabouts … we walk a lot!
Dinner: Stone's Throw
Stone’s Throw in Russian Hill is also a go-to. We’ve quietly celebrated various occasions here (birthday, anniversary, just because …). Usually we try whatever is seasonally new to the menu with the fallback of “da burga or da disaster” — it’s gotta be one of the best burgers in San Francisco. We love everything Jason [Halverson] does — it’s a neighborhood restaurant that’s got just the right amount of magic: deliciously comforting food, drink, welcoming service and a cozy space. We can celebrate a romantic evening out any time we want there.