“The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gray.
The glory that was Rome is of another day.
I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan.
I’m going home to my city by the Bay…”
It’s easy to understand Tony Bennett’s love affair with San Francisco. Such a unique place brimming with natural beauty, culture, creativity and classic charm.Since we’ve had the privilege of visiting the Golden Gate City a handful of times this long weekend jaunt was slower paced without pressure to hit every landmark and attraction.
In town for an American Bar Association conference, we were centrally located in Union Square. Shopping followed by an afternoon aperitif at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus was a nice way to acclimate and get our bearings.
Boasting an impressive culinary scene we were excited to try some of the city’s acclaimed hotspots. Our first dinner at Foreign Cinema was in the Mission district. Housed in a former movie theater Foreign Cinema is known for its fresh, locally sourced menu as well as for its romantic ambience including a courtyard strewn with twinkling cafe lights and a large blank wall where classic films are projected for diners’ viewing pleasure. Sadly, an unexpected power outage in the neighborhood prevented us from getting the full experience, but we still enjoyed a delicious meal and excellent service.
A good night’s sleep helped us adjust to west coast time, and we were ready for a day exploring the city. Heading to the Embarcadero area, we grabbed a table at Waterbar for an alfresco lunch overlooking the Bay Bridge and then strolled along the waterway to take in the view.
To escape the breeze (still can’t believe I was wearing a jacket) we ducked into the Ferry Buiding and meandered through the stalls of artisanal foods and products. One site-seeing opportunity I didn’t want to miss this trip were the famed Painted Ladies or “Postcard Row” across from Alamo Square. These Victorian homes are painted brightly and survived the great fire of 1906. Some of my peers also might remember them best from the opening of the 1980’s family sitcom, Full House. We might not have seen any of the Tanners, but we did snap a few photos. While in the Pacific Heights area we walked by The Fairmont Hotel where we’ve actually stayed before and where Tony Bennett is known to have penned his famous San Fran tune. In fact, in honor of the crooner’s recent 90th birthday, the hotel just unveiled a new monument. All of the hill climbing gave us an appetite for Mexican at new restaurant, Cala, which has garnered positive reviews because of chef Gabriele Camara and her fresh take on authentic dishes. We tried a few small plates including ceviche, sopes and sweet potato along with a refreshing Paloma cocktail. An excursion to wine country was on the agenda for Saturday (stay tuned for a dedicated post 🍷). After a fun day of sunshine and wine we ended the weekend with a last supper at A16. Popular with locals and visitors A16 is known for its brick-oven pizzas, which are presented piping hot along with “pizza shears.” The laid-back vibe provided the perfect setting to reflect on the trip and talk about Little Lovely, who we couldn’t wait to get home to and smother with kisses. Mr. Bennett may have left his heart in Francisco, but ours remains firmly at home with sweet Eloise.