One of the few Sri Lankan fine-dining restaurants around, 1601 Bar & Kitchen celebrated a decade in San Francisco this year.
As with many establishments, the last few have certainly been challenging for it, what with the pandemic and increasing grittiness of the city.
But owners, Chef Brian Fernando and his wife, Yuliya Pavlova, who runs front of house, persevered mightily. And in February, they reopened their doors fully to the public, offering a $150 per person tasting menu Thursday through Saturday now.
They have a loyal clientele, many of whom have supported the restaurant by booking group events regularly.
A couple weeks ago, I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant to enjoy the current tasting menu.
If you don’t know Sri Lankan food, this is a perfect place to experience it, as you will feel warmly cared for by the couple from the moment you step through the doors. A little reminiscent of Indian food, the food of this Indian Ocean island is centered on rice, curries, chilies, and spices. Coconut is used copiously.
This past weekend, Chef Kim Alter of San Francisco’s acclaimed Nightbird was the star attraction at my house.
OK, not her in the flesh per se. But her creativity was certainly on full display in half a dozen dishes we heartily enjoyed — without having to leave the house.
Welcome to Moveable Feast, a new nationwide subscription platform that delivers once-a-month dinner parties right to your door, curated by some of the most celebrated chefs from around the country, many of whom boast Michelin stars and James Beard Awards. It’s a meal kit with serious pedigree.
Each dinner requires only 30 minutes or less of assembling, plating and heating before it’s ready to be served. Detailed written instructions are included, as well as a QR code to access videos that show how each dish is presented. There’s even a fun playlist included for each dinner.
Each chef designs their own dinner party meal, which is then prepared in a commercial kitchen in Napa before being shipped out. Each dinner arrives to you on a Thursday or Friday, in time to enjoy on Saturday or Sunday.
Chef Patrick Capurro wants to take you on a journey, one that recalls the cozy flavors and brisk weather of autumn in Chicago as when he lived there.
At Be.Steak.A in the Pruneyard in Campbell, he does just that with his new fall tasting menu that’s full of pure whimsy and delight.
That’s what I found when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant to try it on a bustling Tuesday night.
Be.Steak.A, owned by Chef Jeffrey Stout, offers both a la carte dining and a seasonal tasting menu that’s $185 per person with an optional $130 wine pairing (six different pours). You can book the tasting menu when you make a reservation online or opt to order it when you get there, though, you risk the chance of it selling out for the night.
Walk through the restaurant doors and you’re greeted immediately with a beverage.