Dinner and a movie may be a typical way to kill an evening almost anywhere, but in San Francisco you can turn this traditional activity into a one-stop experience at venerated local bar and restaurant Foreign Cinema. In addition to an onsite art gallery, the venue also offers film screenings in their courtyard dining room beginning every evening after sunset. The viewing experience, however, is limited to exactly that since the films are played without sound, providing not so much entertainment as a unique ambience. Strangely, the selection of films, usually programed by General Manager Shannon Tucker and which change monthly, are not always especially visually arresting and follow no particular theme. Neither are they necessarily foreign cinema.
Nonetheless, the formula has been a winning one for the thriving business, original to San Francisco. Since opening in 1999, the restaurant has been widely lauded both locally and beyond, receiving multiple nominations for Most Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation and even being recognized by the city government for its contributions to local culture and the business community with an official proclamation and a day named in in its honor. Located in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District, the restaurant was a forerunner in bringing a hip, innovative dining experience to the area.
Reservations are not required but strongly recommended and can be made on the business's website any time, day or night.The popular weekend brunch service begins at 11 AM sharp. Both the food and cocktail menus change frequently and each features an electric selection and maintains a reputation for excellence. Be advised they don't sell popcorn or Junior Mints and frown on bringing your own from home and sneaking them in.
Writer and bon vivant J. Eric Miller lives, loves, and laughs in San Francisco and its environs. Follow his further adventures at: theupsanddownsofsanfrancisco.tumblr.com.