The 2021 San Francisco Eater Awards winners


The Eater Awards are back, which means it’s time to celebrate again the people and places that make San Francisco one of the country’s most exciting places to eat and drink. And this year, there is even more to applaud as we join the Eater Cities in honoring the restaurants, bars and bakeries that have pivoted and preserved over the past 18 months with an impressive blend of courage, creativity and dedication. innovation.

The 2021 San Francisco Laureates demonstrate the breadth of the Bay Area’s dining and drink scenes, capturing everything from the stunning elegance of a Michelin-starred restaurant design to the chaos of a night out dance of boisterous natural wine. There’s a Filipino-American chef carving a new home for modern Southeast Asian cuisine at Fisherman’s Wharf, a German bakery that’s off the beaten track, and a West Oakland pitmaster who has set up the barbecue for the bay area on the national map. Without further ado, here are the winners of Eater SF’s 2021 Eater Awards.

Best New Restaurant

Barbecue Horn

We all wanted something to celebrate in 2020, and pitmaster Matt Horn was more than happy to help. Despite the odds, Horn finally gave his meticulously prepared meats a permanent home in September of last year, and since then plumes of oak-scented smoke have drawn diners from near and far to an industrial corner of West. Oakland like ships to a lighthouse. . The self-taught pitmaster began pulling shimmering slices of simmered Central Texas-style beef brisket out of his huge smoker in 2018, when his pop-ups drew long lines of diners looking for packages of homemade sausage and jars of egg potato salad. Now everything is available by the pound, served on metal platters, with the requisite side of fluffy white bread, though you’ll likely still have to queue. – Lauren Saria

Most innovative menu

Abaca

There has never been a Filipino restaurant in the Bay Area like Abacá. Find the sun-drenched dining room in the lobby of a Fisherman’s Wharf hotel, where Chef Francis Ang brings a modern twist to Filipino classics by taking inspiration from California’s vast agricultural bounty. The menu goes beyond clunky mashups to offer complex platters like vibrant late-season peaches and tomatoes tumbled into a savory mung bean purée and a riff of clam chowder spiced with coconut milk and cilantro – each. both distinctly Californian and recognizable Filipino, too. Unsurprisingly, given Ang’s pastry chef pedigree, the desserts are particularly exciting; it packs a dazzling array of textures on the plate and skillfully harnesses a kaleidoscope of flavors, from the sweet sweetness of summer corn to the tangy bite of passion fruit. – Lauren Saria

The most exaggerated design

Ettan

When Ettan first opened a month before the lockdown, it brought in an acclaimed chef in Silicon Valley and brought a different regional flavor to the peninsula’s strongly North and South Indian restaurant scene. Restaurateur Ayesha Thapar teamed up with chef Srijith Gopinathan of Taj Campton Place, then the only South Asian restaurant in the country to hold two Michelin stars, to create a menu that elevates Gopinathan’s Cal-Indian cuisine, with more flavors. lighter and more lively from the chef’s native Kerala.

But while diners were ready to be wowed by the menu, they didn’t expect to gasp as they entered the space. Tucked away in one of Palo Alto’s quiet lanes, Ettan opens upwards to reveal two floors illuminated by a central skylight. Designer Thomas Schoos hung chandeliers and plants from the domed windows; patterned wallpaper in layers, textiles and woodwork; and made it explode with modern art and black and white portraits. In an era when every restaurant seems to have a neon sign and an overabundance of ferns, Ettan has a completely distinctive look and feel. – Becky Duffett

Most ready-made pastries

Hahdough

Berry loves baking at the best of times and takes comfort in it at the worst – many bakeries have shown endless ingenuity throughout the pandemic, sizing cakes and pies, making mixed boxes and repackaging their products to take away. But the biggest outsider story of all is Hahdough, which opened on March 1, 2020, and although it is only a small store, it has the distinction of being the only German bakery. dedicated to San Francisco. Owner Ha Do, originally from Vietnam but raised in Germany, introduced the city to her favorite traditional tortes and fed a toddler fan with her candied Berlin donuts.

As the city closed, reopened and relentlessly changed the rules of catering, never turned off the ovens, brewing mini steals all night long. She is an incredibly hard-working baker who bakes a style of cake rarely seen in this town, and many Europeans who couldn’t make it home (let alone the San Franciscans just stuck at home) have found joy in a bee’s candied almond crush – a bite cake or the delicate layers of a gentleman’s pie. – Becky Duffett

Most Electric Cocktail Scene

Sober Mesa

Nelson German of seafood restaurant Alamar opened Sobre Mesa, a highly anticipated Afro-Latino lounge and bar, in March 2020, and although the timing is tough, the bar has come back in force almost exactly a year later with tropical rum drinks, a lush hotel lobby, and the great energy of Oakland. It topped the pack in one of the more competitive categories this year, as San Francisco and Oakland saw a resurgence of cool cocktail bars when vaccinated drinkers were finally ready to pour one.

Alex Maynard (Starline Social Club) and Susan Eggett (Last Rites) were seen on the opening cocktail menu, which features Caribbean rums, fresh juices and tropical ingredients while avoiding tiki stereotypes. And while many bars are filled with plenty of plants these days, Sobre Mesa does it in the most immersive way, with jungle green walls, a black marble bar, and beige leather banquets under the glow of the dim lights. . Spread a slingshot and slip into a leather cabin, sip a Zombie Reviver and munch on tostones, and soak up whatever you’ve been missing out on. – Becky Duffett

Best wine festival of the Bacchanale

Part-time bar

After a year gone by, a number of San Franciscans found themselves vaccinated and ready to resume their pre-pandemic activities this fall. Fortunately, Bar Part Time met the moment with a healthy dose of swagger – say, the slogan “probably the best wine bar in the world” – and a flood of natural wine. What started as a pop-up has evolved into a permanent wine-soaked dance party, where you can lose yourself on the black-and-white checkered dance floor under rotating disco lights as the room rumbles to the lyrics. of the Human League’s ‘Don’ t Want Me. Lovers of natural wines will be drawn to a menu limited to bottles without the addition of chemicals, a dozen of which can be sipped by the glass and enjoyed with a menu of small plates. ‘Korean influence of Supreme Queens Inner Sunset. – Lauren Saria

Lauren Saria

A glass of red wine sitting on the bar in front of a bottle.

Lauren Saria


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