Last Friday evening, I had a chance to attend an opening party at the new ~PARALLEL 37~ at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. The look by EDG Interior Architecture + Design is urban and comfortable, featuring a spacious bar and lounge area (the bar counters are soapstone, fabricated by stone masons in the Dogpatch). There’s a NorCal vibe throughout, with lots of wood elements (the dining room tabletops are made from myrtlewood, while the cocktail tables are white oak), and the glass panels in the dining room feature photographs of live oaks from the East Bay hills. There are two private rooms; one is a chef’s table, with a window into the kitchen. The color scheme is warm and a bit reminiscent of the 70s with all the oranges and smoky glass.
While it’s a biiiig departure from what was previously there (heavy upholstery, to-the-floor table linens)—and the rest of the hotel—I didn’t find the style to be particularly edgy. But the room is well appointed, feels relaxed, and is going to work well for a variety of occasions, whether it’s a business meeting, double date, or after-work destination—and dinner will no longer be a three-hour (plus) affair.
Chef Ron Siegel is a wicked-talented chef, so even though the menu is now simplified and casual, he’ll still be doing the same top-notch ingredient sourcing and applying the same excellent technique. The dinner menu has appetizers like kampachi sashimi ($15) with orange-ginger marinade and crisp rice, and short rib ravioli ($16) with onions, celery root, and curry. Entrées include sea bass en papillote ($27), and max out at $29 for the beef rib-eye with potatoes, chanterelle mushroom, red onion jam, and pinot noir reduction (pssst—based on the excellent beef he is using, that dish is a steal). You can look at a sample dinner menu here. I’m happy that I’ll be able to afford having Siegel’s excellent cooking more than once a year.
The bar bites menu will be a fun one to work your way through, from the crispy chicken wings ($6) to the blue cheese balls ($6)—and you know his cheeseburger ($15) is going to rock. Dessert has a few selections like a Nutella croquette and lemon semifreddo.
The lounge is designed to be a big draw, and Camber Lay’s cocktails will feature the same seasonal and local approach as the kitchen. Siegel and Lay are collaborating for the first time and are bringing the “kitchen to the cocktail,” utilizing the kitchen to create syrups, reductions, and more for the bar to use. Sure to be a hit is her Barfly cocktail ($14), with muddled Poblano peppers, bourbon, Benedictine, lemon juice, and vanilla simple syrup. Of course you’ll still be able to get some amazing wines. And one of my favorite changes? They lowered the valet charge for diners from $25 to $10. Open daily for lunch 11am-2:30pm and dinner 5:30pm-10pm (I am curious to see if the dinner hours will eventually run later).
The dining room’s back wall with glass panels. Photo by Cesar Rubio.