Restaurant Highlight: Saison
Saison Restaurant, San Francisco
Named #27 on “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” ListÂ
San Francisco’s culinary prowess is famed across the globe. Foodies from the US and beyond visit the city to sample the flavors from legends like Alice Waters, Thomas Keller, and Dominique Crenn. Luckily, thereâ€™s no need for you to break out your passport since one of the worldâ€™s best restaurants is just a short walk away from your San FranciscoÂ luxury condos at One Mission Bay. When youâ€™re in the mood for critically acclaimed fare, itâ€™s nice to know that Saison is one of your neighbors.
Some may find it odd that what was once a Sunday-night parking-lot pop-up restaurant has just been named the 27th â€œBest Restaurant in the Worldâ€ by the Diners Club International. Notoriously selective New York Times food critic Pete Wells said that it provided â€œone of the most compelling mealsâ€ heâ€™s had as a critic, and Zagat reviewers agree, praising Saisonâ€™s â€œconsistently impressiveâ€ and â€œextraordinary cooking.â€ But few would be surprised by all of the plaudits Saison receives after sampling one of the imaginative dishes cooked up by owner and chef Joshua Skenes. Under his direction, Saison went from a tiny space with an open fire on the patio to one of San Franciscoâ€™s first Michelin three-star establishmentsâ€”the highest designation given to an ultra-elite coterie of restaurants worldwide.
Although itâ€™s now Californiaâ€™s most expensive restaurant, Saison began as Skeneâ€™s simple dream to serve the freshest â€œhyper-seasonalâ€ food in the San Francisco area. During the early days, servers rushed outside to plate dishes from the fire pit; today diners can enjoy Saisonâ€™s ever-changing menu in the confines of an upscale minimalist space. That is, they can after they adhere to the restaurantâ€™s understandably strict reservation and attendance policy: if you are not there for your scheduled seating, the meal begins without you, in order to ensure the freshest dishes and quality service.
The scene is easy to imagine: glasses clink, and your evening begins with a bottle of wine chosen by wine director and restaurant partner Mark Bright. Wine continues to flow throughout the evening as youâ€™re treated to a 15- to 20-course meal, which may include standout dishes like Barbary sheep tartare, lobster, or green peas on parmesan custard. The menu changes every night, depending on what ingredients are available that day, though almost every dish features something smoked, roasted, or grilled by the wood fire, which Skenes calls â€œthe heart of the restaurant.â€
You might not need your carry-on when you go to Saison, but you will get to explore a whole new world of haute cuisine.
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