Saison, San Francisco, California
It’s no surprise that three-Michelin-starred restaurants sweat the details. At Saison, that includes specialty handmade plateware, fish tanks to hold live seafood, and $500 custom cashmere throws draped on the back of each chair in case guests catch a chill. “These add an element of refinement to the dining experience," says Bevan Bunch, director of operations. "We want to ensure our guests feel absolutely comfortable.'' While you snuggle in cashmere, feast on an otherworldly tasting menu that might include abalone braised in seaweed and its own juices, specialty vegetables from local farms, and ice cream with coffee bean oil and pineapple “soup” infused with pineapple sage and citrus. Considering the cashmere and upscale menu, it’s perhaps no surprise that Saison is a major splurge for most—the prix fixe meal runs $398, yes, per person.
Californios, San Francisco, California
After earning two Michelin stars in 2017, it’s a given that the tasting menu at Californios by chef Val Cantu is exceptional, with updated and upscale takes on favorite foods such as black bean tamales, wagyu carne asada, and foie gras churros. But so is the restaurant’s interior, which was designed by his wife Carolyn Cantu. The small restaurant has cloistered coziness from unexpected black-painted walls. “We looked for a really warm black, and settled on this one for its depth,’’ says Carolyn Cantu. “We wanted to go with a dark color scheme so that you would feel enveloped by the space.’’