Today I'm sharing my top restaurant picks for 24 hours in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Whether you're a local and want to try something different or just in town for the weekend, these spots are sure to please your gastronomic palette.  

Day 1: Begin your culinary journey in San Francisco at Tartine Bakery in the Mission district for a casual yet delectable breakfast.  Their morning bun is all the rage, but my favorites are the pain au chocolat and brioche bread pudding.  Walk off your carb coma on Valencia Street and check out the great boutiques and furniture galleries it has to offer.  Head over to the Embarcadero for a waterside lunch at Coqueta, Michael Chiarello's modern take on Spanish tapas.  Start with the pintxos (bite-sized skewers), your server will bring a board full of them to choose from and they are all delightful.  The patatas bravas, gazpacho gelatina, and gambas al negro were my favorites from the menu, but you really can't go wrong with anything here.  Post lunch, walk around the Embarcadero exploring the Ferry Building and it's eclectic shops and bustling farmer's market.  For dinner, head to Bar Agricole in SoMa, designed by renowned architect Aidlin Darling. The menu changes seasonally, but the porkchop was among the best I've had, cooked to juicy perfection.  Don't forget to try one of their signature cocktails, such as the tequila fix, which gets its heat from hellfire bitters.

Day 2: From San Francisco, head over the Golden Gate bridge into Sausalito for a harborside brunch at Le Garage.  Order the P.E.I. mussels to share, followed by the salade with fresh Maine lobster, and for your main course I would suggest either the oeuf a la coque or their organic grass fed burger on a ciabatta bun.  Wash it all down with a glass of French rosé.  Drive 10 minutes up 101 North to Larkspur Landing to check out the great shopping at Marin Country Mart and sit down to a light lunch at Farmshop, its latest and greatest addition.  The avocado hummus is a must for starters, followed by the spice-roasted carrots and winter salad of red rice, blood oranges, sunchoke crema and toasted sunflower seeds.  For dinner, treat yourself to something special at El Paseo in Mill Valley, Tyler Florence and Sammy Hagar's lovechild of a restaurant.  If it's warm enough, sit outside on one of the charming patios, enjoying the fresh from the oven Popovers courtesy of the chef.  If you dare (and have someone to share it with), order the tomahawk ribeye, a whopping 28 ounces of the most tender steak you'll ever have, served with creamy horseradish, Béarnaise, and au poivre sauces.  Don't forget the sides - the whipped potatoes, roasted wild mushrooms, and mac & cheese are comfort food at its finest.

Cheers to the weekend and bon appétit!

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Farm Shop Avocado Hummus.jpg
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Buckeye Veal Chop.jpg