By Amy Sherman
The Return of the Supper Club
Dining out in San Francisco is generally either about Michelin stars or fast-casual places. But the latest incredibly popular spots offer something else entirely—a throwback supper club experience. Though not all of them identify as supper clubs, they each take dining out to an older standard. Think white tablecloths, servers in sharp uniforms, and chic patrons in a place to see and be seen. Little touches include servers carrying flashlights, a boon for those struggling to read the menu or who want to work on their Instagram feed; larger touches include a roaring fireplace, bustling bar scenes and performers that range from ballet to belly dancers.
Though it bills itself as a steak-house—and is one—glamorous lighting, a piano and lounge singers set it apart. Servers in tuxedo jackets serve cocktails made table-side, seafood towers, theatrical dishes with puffs of dry ice, and huge tomahawk steaks. 399 Geary St., San Francisco, 415.363.9539, mastrosrestaurants.com
A luxurious yet comfortable restaurant with art deco and midcentury modern touches offers a martini cart and dramatic classics—such as a flaming baked Alaska and the halibut, right—that give it a sophisticated, grown-up feel. 3001 El Camino Real, Redwood City, 650.546.7700, selbysrestaurant.com
A dark, sexy space with riveting performances interspersed with a multicourse meal are the main draws, but the rustic Moroccan food and engaging interactions with both the staff and performing artists make this true supper club a winner. 1516 Broadway, San Francisco, 415.800.7767, berbersf.com
Photo credits: All images courtesy of venues.