Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mason Me Hungry

Why Mason Pacific is about to become your new favorite date spot


The last time you rode a cable car was... When exactly?

We get it. It's not something native San Franciscans do often. And yet, cable cars are awesome for climbing giant hills, saving money on cabs, and impressing dates with your devil-may-care transportation selections.

Invite her aboard the Powell/Mason line (who knew you could use your Clipper Card?) and enjoy the ride as it climbs up to Mason Pacific, now open at the eponymous intersection in Russian Hill.

Arrive early and enjoy a glass of Vermentino at the bar (we recommend the Domaine De Gioielli from Corsica) while you plot your plan of culinary attack. The menu is incredibly date-friendly, whether it's your first dinner together or your thousandth, with a seasonal array of beautifully presented dishes that are varied as they are accessible.

Pair the last of your Vermentino with the fried feta (pictured), served molten in the middle over peas and fava beans. The real decision lies in your mains, which range from the health-conscious wild salmon with grated cauliflower and pepperoncini soffrito, to the housemade tagliatelle tossed in truffle shavings and topped with a perfectly poached egg.

Seal the deal by sharing a chocolate pot de crème topped with peanut butter mousse and take note of her choice of footwear before you suggest a mode of transportation back downhill.

Because after an evening this perfect, suggesting she walk to after dinner drinks in six-inch heels is about the only way you can screw this up.

Mason Pacific
1358 Mason St. (at Pacific), Russian Hill

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Parking: Street spots are near impossible in this hood, so we recommend getting a ride, or parking at the SFPD garage on Vallejo Street. (See above note regarding your date's footwear, as the latter may require you dropping her off while you park.)
Best Bets: Fried feta; beets; potato skins; wild salmon; chocolate pot de creme
About the wine list: The wine list (curated by an RN74 alum) is as budget-friendly as it is extensive. It's built around food-friendly wines by the glass, but you can also order carafes of Copain, or buy a bottle for anywhere between $30 and $500.
Nearby: Comstock Saloon; Seven Hills;15 Romolo

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