The San Francisco dining scene is a buzz with the latest restaurant opening in the foodie city: Parallel 37. The new restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco officially opens its doors today, welcoming guests to a new era of dining. And it has a significant place in Five-Star history: With the last of The Ritz-Carlton Dining Rooms now closed, Parallel 37 ushers in a new era of trendy restaurants and haute decor to the hotel family.
The new dining space has been transformed to a comfortably elegant spot that evokes “inspiration and celebration,” says hotel general manager Raúl Salcido. The new interior is designed with wood, glass, and leather; the menu has changed from multi-course tasting to small plates and innovative entrees; and the atmosphere is more “San Francisco sexy” and less formal dining. Parallel 37, which took its name from the Bay Area’s latitude line, brought in a few new people to help spice up the place. Camber Lay, the resident mixologist, has created the seasonal bar program, which features signature cocktails that blend fresh produce with kicking spices. Her signature drink, the Maritime Sour, is made with encanto pisco, bittermans citron savage, sauvignon blanc reduction, egg whites and long pepper. One of our favorites, the Bar Fly, combines bulleit bourbon, benedictine, poblano peppers, vanilla and lemon. The wine list has gone from global to regional, focusing on Napa and Sonoma wines (don’t worry, there are still a few worldly wines available as well).
Chef Ron Siegel put an emphasis on sharing. The new menu features full entrees, as well as bar bites like baby beets and blue cheese balls, pulled pork sliders and oysters on the half shell. Every restaurant needs a good “wow” table, and in this case, it’s Parallel 37’s new approach to the chef’s table. Located in the back of the dining room and separated only slightly by a half wall, the chef’s table seats up to 12 and overlooks the kitchen (it’s as close as you can get to the kitchen without actually being inside). The table, made completely of aged wine barrels, is part private-dining room, part ultra-foodie experience.
Photo courtesy of Melanie Nayer