To say that the Bay Area’s Bacchus Management Group has been on a tear lately would be an understatement. In addition to opening three new establishments in San Francisco this year alone, plans call for for another new restaurant to debut at San Jose’s Santana Row in 2024 and one to open at the historic post office building in Burlingame in 2025.
That’s in addition to its already sizeable stable of Spruce in San Francisco, Michelin-starred the Village Pub in Woodside, Michelin-starred Selby’s in Redwood City, the Village Bakery in Woodside, and Pizza Antica locations in Santana Row and Lafayette.
Last week, I had a chance to check out its new Italian restaurant, La Connessa, when I was invited in as a guest. It’s on the street level of a new building on Potrero Hill. Just steps away are Bacchus’ two other new eateries: the burger place, Louie’s Original; and the sourdough donut shop, Magic Donuts & Coffee (more on that in a moment).
Dimly lighted with sleek, wedding band-like chandeliers and a soaring, illuminated bar, it has that sophisticated, moody aura, and boy, was it bustling on a Saturday night. There’s even a view into the kitchen behind big glass windows.
Because chances are wherever they hail from, they do not have a restaurant in their vicinity that serves modern Moroccan cuisine. At least not anything as elevated and imaginative yet still stirringly soulful as this.
So, when I recently gathered to catch up with family in San Francisco last weekend and discovered they had never eaten here, I knew it was high-time they were introduced to Chef-Owner Mourad Lahlou’s singular cooking.
We perused the menu, ordered, and paid our tab — but had no idea that Lahlou would end up sending out nearly three-fourths of the menu to our table on the house. To say that we each needed a wheelbarrow to cart us out afterward would be putting it mildly. It proved a feast in every sense and for every sense.
Do yourself a favor: Buy a glazed yeast doughnut. Or two. Pronto.
Now, resist inhaling them in the morning. Instead, save them for the evening.
Then, spend a mere few minutes to transform them into the “Best Dessert in the World.”
That’s what Momofuku’s David Chang calls this uncanny creation.
Given how stupid-simple it is to make and the sheer bliss it provides, I’d have to agree that his multi-named “The Only Dessert I’ll Cook at Home (Doughnuts Cooked in Butter with Ice Cream)” definitely ranks right up there.
It might be best described as the anti-cookbook. Meaning that it’s more like one of those no-recipe cookbooks of late. There are no precise measurements for ingredients. Sometimes, there aren’t even specific ingredients listed. The idea is to trust yourself more, to season to your own personal taste, and to use what’s in your pantry without dashing to the supermarket for obscure items all the time just to make one dish one way all the time.