Walking into Alfred’s Steakhouse in San Francisco is like stepping back into another era.
To a time when dining rooms weren’t cloaked in reclaimed wood and Edison lights, but in crimson walls, sparkling chandeliers and oxblood-hued, tufted leather booths; when cell phones didn’t exist (as there actually isn’t cell service available there now); and when people actually dressed for dinner (save for the table of tourists decked out in shorts that night, not realizing summer in isn’t all that in San Francisco).
The venerable restaurant, which opened in 1928, still exudes classic bygone mores, and that’s a testament to Chef Daniel Patterson, whose Alta Group took it over in 2015. He spiffed it up, but wisely kept the cherished old-school atmosphere.
It’s a place you walk into thinking: They don’t make ’em like this anymore. And thank goodness it’s still around.
At least that’s what I felt when I visited recently as a guest of the restaurant. Even though I’m a native San Franciscan, I’m embarrassed to admit this was my first time at the restaurant.
As we slid into the roomy booth in the old worldly elegant dining room, my husband, who normally orders a glass of wine or a beer at dinner, declared out of the blue, “I’m having a martini!”
Because these surroundings just inspire a thirst for that.