- Craig Claiborne born (1920)
Zuni Cafe showcases San Francisco Mediterranean cooking at its best. Although award-winning chef-owner Judy Rodgers passed away in December of 2013, her partner, Gilbert Pilgram (a Chez Panisse alumnus), continues to run the place, with Rebecca Boice now in the kitchen. Zuni has been an iconic California restaurant for what feels like forever, so it may be easy to forget that when it opened in 1979, it was dedicated to authentic Mexican food. It’s amazing, then, to think that restaurant critic Michael Bauer could recently dine there and write that it feels original, even after 36 years, “Zuni was so ahead of its time that even in 2015 it feels like it could have opened last week.” The seasonal and organic ingredients are always impeccable, and the fish and meats are sustainably raised. The whole, brick-oven-roasted chicken for two with warm bread salad, scallions, garlic, and mustard greens is among the emblematic dishes (keep in mind it takes approximately an hour to prepare) in this food-mad town, and the house-ground grass-fed burger on rosemary focaccia with aïoli and house-made pickles (lunch only) is epic.
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Restaurants, April 1, 2015