British Invasion

How one SF duo has conquered the restaurant scene

Restaurateur Anna Weinberg and chef Jennifer Puccio have done the (almost) impossible.

"We've actually managed to get people to dress up for dinner in San Francisco," Weinberg says with a laugh. "Can you believe it?"

If anyone could pull off this sartorial miracle in casual California, it makes sense that it would be Weinberg and Puccio. The pair behind cozy Marlowe and Washington Square's buzzy and eternally busy Park Taven have a knack for putting together a stylish scene.

Deviled crab | The bar

At their latest, The Cavalier, the mood is opulent and grown up–with a heavy British accent. Weinberg and Puccio traveled to London on an inspiration-finding expedition, spending eight hours one day holed up at The Wolseley, soaking up the details, as well as a few bottles of bubbly.

The menu reflects some of the dishes they tried during their travels, with a twist: Welsh rarebit re-imagined as a soufflé; braised and deep-fried lamb "scrumpets" served on the bone and dipped into chile-mint sauce; deviled crab spread on thin slices of cucumber (see the recipe).

A pre-dinner "booze amuse" | The dining room

British cool also played into Marianne's, the restaurant's members-only lounge. You need a key code to enter the clubby, chandeliered room, named in tribute to Rolling Stones muse Marianne Faithfull. An original photograph from the band's Beggar's Banquet liner hangs on the wall.

"I wanted to evoke that rich, layered, 1960s London feel," she says. "like a room in that Scottish estate where the album was recorded, where all the men sat around doing LSD on the carpet."

The hard stuff's been replaced by fizzy gin and chartreuse cocktails, but the indulgent mood prevails. "I wanted every dinner to feel like an occasion," Weinberg says.