Photo Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
Featuring one of the Bay Area’s most extravagant spreads of delectable dishes, served in one of the most urbane dining spots in the City, The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco’s ‘Second Sunday Brunch’ is an event on par with the best theater productions in town. Launched in December, and taking place – as the name conveys – on the second Sunday of each month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in their signature restaurant Parallel 37, ‘Second Sunday Brunch’ is so much more than a mere meal; it’s the theater of haute cuisine, and Chef Michael Rotondo (trained by the renowned Charlie Trotter) presides as producer and director. Each station of seasonal and local favorites is more lavish than the next, and lucky for you, this production is interactive and encourages participation. Here is how to hit your mark:
• Step into the dramatic, reclaimed cedar porticoed entrance to Parallel 37 and head to the bar to select the ingredients for your custom Bloody Mary. Choose from Fire Roasted Tomatilla mix, Horseradish mix or “The Heat” Spicy Mix, or create a combo. Tailor your cocktail with your favorite garnish: bacon, cucumber, celery, green beans, olives, or lemon slices. Toast to the beginning of a memorable meal, and then survey your options.
• Perhaps you’ll begin at the Dim Sum bar and fill your plate with mini pork buns, and other assorted steamer basket treats. Or maybe you should start with the selection of California artisanal cheeses and charcuterie with house-made accoutrements such as beet & chevre mousse and spiced apple chips. Move on to the raw bar and experience delicacies including caviar, oysters, shrimp, sushi, and other fresh seasonal seafood such as halibut ceviche with Jimmy Nardello pepper, or tuna tartare with crispy rice and wasabi aioli.
• It’s time for Act II. Check-out the chef’s action stations serving hand-carved meats and entrées including prime rib with Périgord sauce and wild mushrooms, roasted sea scallops with Meyer lemon and polenta, and King Salmon “Wellington” with creamed leeks and Romesco sauce. Made-to-order specialties include Truffle Eggs Benedict and classic fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup.
• Take an intermission to enjoy your surroundings. Parallel 37 is warm, sexy, sophisticated and is a showcase for wood artistry. Interior detail includes sourcing from a single, wind-felled Deodara cedar. The Lounge’s cocktail tables are made from North Coast oak, and the communal tables between the bar and dining area are made from urban salvage Western Claro walnut. Natural, Myrtlewood tabletops provide the perfect setting for Chef Rotondo’s offerings. The bar/lounge features comfortable, contemporary furnishings and artistic Italian light fixtures.
• Time to conquer the dessert buffet – or maybe you choose to start with the sweets? There are no hard and fast rules here. An entire room is reserved for the good stuff: chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cherry shortbread, assorted chocolate truffles, lemon meringue tarts, caramel panna cotta, chocolate mousse, milk chocolate nut tart, almond cake….it’s all yours for the taking.
• It’s 2 p.m., and as the curtain comes down on this production, take heart in knowing that the haute experience is available again next month – on the second Sunday.
The ‘Second Sunday Brunch’ menu changes monthly. Call (415) 773-6198 for reservations. Price: $115 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Dom Pérignon is also available for an additional $55 per glass. The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, 600 Stockton Street.
Photos: Courtesy The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco