It has been a hot minute since I kicked off the Weekend Roundup— suggestions of things to see and do (and mostly eat) around the world. So, it’s time to stop neglecting the roundup, especially since summer is around the corner and many of us are getting our travel itineraries and food lineups (What?! Am I the only fat @$$ who constantly thinks about where I’m going to eat?) in order. This week’s roundup features suggestions for a Latin-inspired kitchen in the heart of Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood, Seattle’s hottest new restaurant, and one of San Francisco’s latest Michelin Star winners.
Baltimore, Alma Cocina Latina:
“This Latin-inspired kitchen is exactly what Baltimore needed. As Richard Gorelick says, ‘Alma Cocina brings the soul of Caracas to Canton.’ They have a great happy hour, which is the best way to sample a few items. I’d recommend the Yucas Bravas and a Cuba Libre (the best rum and Coke you’ll ever have) to start. The ceviche is out of this world. And of course, you can’t miss their signature dish on the menu— the arepas are a must when visiting here. La Vaca Mariposa was fantastic. Sirloin, chicken, chorizo, a fried egg, avocado, and their queso de año…all stuffed between a perfectly fried maize dough. How can you resist that? My only regret was not saving enough room for dessert. The tres leches and their churros look phenomenal!” – Divya Ooi Herpst, Baltimore local
Seattle, FlintCreek Cattle Co.:
“The owners of RockCreek Seafood & Spirits just opened one of the hottest new restaurants in Seattle— FlintCreek Cattle Co. Replacing an antique store that inhabited the space for years, the new restaurant brings a vibrant, new energy to the Greenwood neighborhood. For meat lovers, this is your paradise. The new American restaurant brings sustainable, small-scale farms right to your hungry belly. The meat-centric menu favors red meat— beef, bison, boar, lamb— but you’ll find a few poultry and fish dishes on there, in addition to seasonal, simple vegetable dishes. FlintCreek has received stellar reviews, so I suggest getting your reservation weeks ahead (especially if you don’t want to eat at 9pm). Recommendations include the gem lettuce salad, grilled spring asparagus with burrata, Totten Kamilche mussels, fennel braised wild boar shoulder, and the glazed banana split. Full menu here…try not to drool too much.” – Brooke Bonime, Seattle bred and San Francisco-based
San Francisco, Octavia:
Octavia had been on my radar and once I heard it won a Michelin Star, I was convinced we needed to check out the highly publicized restaurant for a special date night. Tucked on a quiet Pac Heights corner, Octavia provides a quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially on the rainy Friday night we encountered the cozy spot. As if the atmosphere didn’t capture our hearts enough, the service really won us over with their warmth. Now, the main courses were delicious, but the real stars of the show were the appetizers and dessert. I’ve been addicted to squid ink pasta since being introduced to the mouth-watering dish at Stone’s Throw (if you haven’t had their version yet, truck yourself up Russian Hill and make it happen) and Octavia’s version did not disappoint, minus the portion— I wanted more! A trip to Octavia also wouldn’t be complete without taste testing their “deviled egg”— a soft cooked egg with Fresno chile relish and a dusting of Marash peppers and other spices. Yum, yum, yum! Finally, I am not a dessert person, but I could not put my spoon down when the chocolate soufflé tart hit our table. The cocoa brittle and salted caramel ice cream had my head spinning and my husband (Mr. Sweet Tooth) ready to lick the bowl. The magic really is in the details at Octavia— from the atmosphere, the service, fresh ingredients, wine list, decor, and location, we left beyond content and will definitely be back.
Want to shed your local or travel knowledge in the next Weekend Roundup OR Are you looking for restaurant/activity recommendations for a certain city? Submit here or shoot me a note at LSquaredSF(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll do my best to find you recommendations to help make your trip one to remember!