Because every man needs a plan, and some of us need that plan with pretty pictures, we present Where to Take Her: a series that answers a gentleman's most pressing lifestyle questions and recurs whenever we get around to it. Next up: the city's best new (and newly reimagined) restaurants, by occasion. Bon appétit.
The Coachman - SoMa - Charles Phan’s new spot on Mission is warmly lit and airy, with an ample offering of Scotch and breezy cocktails to keep the conversation flowing over the non-traditional British plates that make up its menu.
Coi - North Beach - Recompense is a dish best served in multiple courses from Daniel Patterson’s mercurial playbook — paired with wine. Freshly reimagined, Coi’s brand of experiential dining doesn’t come cheap, but neither does forgiveness.
Ichi Sushi - Bernal Heights - It’s a fact that it’s difficult to stay mad over sushi, and nearly impossible over good sushi. Enter the relocated Ichi, arguably the best sushi the city has to offer, now featuring izakaya bar-bites while you await your table.
Loló - Mission - New to Valencia, this places oozes enough quirk to take the edge off the blindest of dates, but underneath the surface is a tapas menu that defies every stereotype (Chicken confit tostadas?!) and backs its rebellion with the force of good taste.
Roka Akor - FiDi - Point the Black Car to Jackson Square for a memorable night of mellifluous uni (paired with chicharrones) and wagyu with grilled marrow. Then dip downstairs to the cocktail bar for a nightcap. She’ll probably sprain a digit Instagramming.
Sabrosa - Cow Hollow - Golden bright and vibing with those attractive professionals we hear are all the rage these days, Sabrosa admirably manages the balancing act between its cocktail-bar focus and its upscale Mexican cuisine.
The Square - North Beach - From the team behind Nob Hill’s Sons & Daughters, The Square is casual dining (beef-tartare-casual, to be fair) with a Michelin-starred pedigree and an exemplary bar (read: no cutesy pomp) on Washington Square. She’ll like it.
TBD - SoMa - A short stroll down Mission to 7th lies AQ’s puckish younger sibling. Open-kitchened. Wood-fired. Fun to be in. And they’ve got some truly outstanding plates (try the lamb carpaccio). Wine, beer and an extensive list of sherrys only. No liquor.
Verbena - Russian Hill - Be she an herbivore or carnivore, you needn’t worry. Esquire Chef of the Year Sean Baker’s menu pays due respect to both tastes while skimping on neither — plus the space is stunning and the wine list is untouchable.
Coi image by Maren Caruso