The Farmer and the Fork Cafe at Tower Hill
Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s two conservatories are lush and aromatic even in the dead of winter. The Limonaia (Lemon House) is brimming with bright camellias and bold citrus fruit. The Farmer and the Fork Cafe offers a seasonal menu that includes healthy grain bowls along with soups and salads. Guests can enjoy the fire place in the Great Hall after working up an appetite in the Orangerie, Tower Hill’s 18th-century-style greenhouse.
The AC Lounge
If I could bring the bar from Crazy, Stupid, Love. to life, it would look like The AC Lounge. The space is bright, posh, and metropolitan. Hotel bars have a certain formality about them and a level of anonymity given the number of out-of-towners. This is not the sort of watering hole where everybody knows your name; enjoy it.
The Civic Kitchen + Drink
The Civic has played host to a series of themed events over the last few months, including a Great Gatsby dinner party straight out of West Egg. Guests partied like it was the summer of 1922. The staff manages to take The Civic’s signature patio vibe indoors during the colder months. This spot is the perfect cure for the winter blues.
It’s easy to picture the small Italian village from which Chef Rico’s vision was born when you sit down at Avellino. The menu is rich with handmade specialties including house-cured pancetta and freshly pulled mozzarella. For the full effect, Chef Rico offers monthly cooking classes modeled after his grandmother’s Italian kitchen.
Rose 32 Bread
Rose 32 is a world class operation dressed down in small town clothing. Master baker Glenn Mitchell studied and trained in France before launching a small bakery in California with his wife Cindy that quickly grew into a national conglomerate. Glenn never lost sight of his love of baking, as exhibited by his top honors from Coup du Monde de la Boulangerie, the World Cup of baking held in Paris. The Mitchells may have retired from West coast living, but their little Hardwick bakery will make you feel like you’re in sneezing distance of San Francisco.
Simjang has tiki drinks, a fluorescent color palate, and an oyster bar that’s straight fire. You can play video games upstairs and mainline rosé froyo downstairs. Remind me again why we aren’t there right now?