The winners here are the cocktails and the speakeasy ambiance. Inspired by Burritt Alley, where Sam Spade's partner Miles Archer was shot in "The Maltese Falcon", the Burrit Room and Tavern is a fitting setting for hushed conversation over well-crafted cocktails and familiar regional tavern favorites.
The Tavern takes cues from its moody sibling with a speakeasy vibe, most notably showcased by six curtained, we’re-up-to-no-good booths. The mini dens of iniquity provide the appropriate backdrop for chef and five-year Palmer alum Ashley Weaver’s shareable Dungeness crab and asparagus tarts, oysters with grapefruit vodka mignonette, and masculine mains (pan-seared Scottish salmon, grilled Duroc pork chop, and lamb shoulder 36 hours in the making).
Now, famed restaurateur (and Dry Creek Kitchen chef-owner) Charlie Palmer has stepped in to revamp both the hotel and the bar, adding a full-service steakhouse and tavern with a speakeasy/men's club vibe. The 125-seat dining room features curtained-off private booths for more intimate evenings, and photographs of San Francisco in the years after the 1906 quake, including the construction of the public library, and the reconstruction of Union Square.