IMAGE VIA @PALETTE.SF | INSTAGRAM
It’s no secret that if you want to survive in San Francisco’s cut-throat restaurant scene, you’ve gotta have way more than a well-decorated space (although that certainly helps). And one of SF’s newest eateries, Palette, has thought up a unique and multi-faceted concept they hope will set them apart from the crowd.
Marrying a seasonal, locally-sourced menu and artistry in a blue-walled, SoMa space, Palette isn’t just a place for local foodies to score a good-for-you meal. It’s also a creative-minded destination featuring an adjoining art gallery and community workshop studio meant to help restaurant-goers explore the connection between the dishes they're dining on and art.
Whether you're stopping by for lunch or dinner, you can expect to embark on a culinary journey that begs you to look at your plate as a blank canvass to build upon. That very idea comes to a head inside their cafe and lounge seating area, where chef Peter J. Hemsley offers his take on a cafe-style menu, creating edible, healthy(ish) works of art and thoughtfully-plated presentations that are second to none.
Not only that, Palette partners with Bay Area farms to source freshly-harvested, all-natural, and organic produce and works closely with local livestock purveyors and fishermen to ensure everything they serve is ethically-sourced, environmentally-friendly, and high-quality.
The end product? Delicious daily morsels—like the Chicken Little (chicken salad, B+B pickles, red wine shallots, mustards, garlic focaccia) and the Blanc de Blancs (California halibut, wilted greens, parsnips, and champagne butter)—that are almost too pretty to eat.
Of course, you’ll need something to wash it all down, and like everything else on offer, Palette’s drink selection is nothing short of perfection. Their long roster of available wines and champagnes are sourced from small-batched, sustainable, quality-driven producers from all over the world, and many are procured in nearby Napa. Plus, a weekly rotation of by-the-glass options, a rare aperitif, and a lofty collection of craft beers keep things fresh.
When you’re not indulging in elevated cuisine in the cafe and lounge, you can stop by the gallery to check out the quarterly-rotating exhibits. Set up alongside the 8,500-square-foot restaurant, the gallery was co-created with the help of CCS Architecture, the company behind such stellar projects like Hotel Castro, and features works from local artisans and creators aimed at highlighting our ever-evolving food culture.
And if you’re feeling inspired by all you’ve seen at Palette Gallery, the space also hosts a range of public craft workshops from how-tos on ceramics and kitchenware to soap making and textile dyeing.
Don’t have time to book a class at the workshop? Palette’s in-house boutique features items created at their on-site ceramic studio, as well as other, one-of-a-kind offerings from off-site Bay Area craftsmen (and women) that are all available for purchase.
At Palette on Folsom Street there’s much more to explore than the food menu, so clear your schedule and head over for a experience you won’t find anywhere else.