Restaurant Review: San Francisco, California

Bellota



Paella

The Absinthe Group has hit it out of the park with its latest and most ambitious restaurant, a paean to Spain and especially to the fatty, silky delight of jamón Ibérico. Legs of legendary 5 Jotas Bellota hang behind glass, tempting guests at the large, crowded bar. Diners who reserved a table find themselves in a large industrial space warmed on three sides by Moorish design elements and on the fourth by an open kitchen, brimming with paella pans and clay tureens, framed by a large hearth with flames blazing. Chef Ryan McIlwraith, formerly of Coqueta, sends a tapas cart to circulate the dining room, leading off a menu of briny seafood starters, thrilling paellas and whole roasted fish and meats. The all-Spanish wine list is deep and wide—Galician godello and mencía by the glass, verticals from top Rioja producers and plenty of Sherries, from a $5 Fernando de Castilla Fino on tap to unfi ltered selections and some old, rare bottlings from bodegas like El Maestro Sierra and César Florido.

Click here to see the map of the W&S SF 50 Restaurants