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in the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco hotel
222 Sansome St. (between Pine and California Sts.)
Cuisine: Contemporary cuisine with Asian flavors
Pluses: stylish food in a lovely room
Minuses: it is located in a hotel; men might be more comfortable wearing a jacket
Overview: Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Mandarin Oriental San Francisco hotel hired New York chef Dante Boccuzzi to bring a new twist to their east-west dinner offerings. And tasting his menu it's easy to see why: steak cut ahi tuna with tobiko caviar; grilled venison mignon with apples, while a Black Angus sirloin is more traditional with a green peppercorn sauce. Starters include a slow-roasted beet and goat cheese gateau; chilled asparagus with duck proscuitto and a delightful cold tomato consomm» with fresh truffles. Desserts from fresh fruit creations to a chocolate extravagance -- a dessert with seven variations of chocolate. The cheese course - one night four kinds of goat cheese - is one of the best in the city. Recently remodeled, the dining room is now more casual, but still elegant and lively, with plush carpeting, plus paintings and sculptures by local artists. The extensive wine list is an award winner.