Since its debut in December 2011, Parallel 37 has become a destination for contemporary American cuisine influenced by the cultures and ingredients found along the San Francisco Bay Area’s geographic latitude. New Chef de Cuisine Michael Rotondo, most recently executive chef at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, brings a refined and globally-inspired cuisine to Parallel 37, which is located inside the iconic Nob Hill hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. His dishes are focused yet fun, artistically creative, and intriguing, and meant to be expertly paired with hand-crafted cocktails, beer, and wine.
“Living and working in San Francisco is a dream; it is a true food city where guests know great cuisine,” Rotondo says. “There are few cities in the world where such incredible ingredients are available locally and in season almost year-round, and fewer still so close to the epicenter of the wine culture in the United States. Being a chef for me is about the complete food and wine experience.”
Originally from Weymouth, Massachusetts, Rotondo most recently spent eight years honing his skills in the famous kitchen at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, eventually working his way up to Chef de Cuisine and executive chef. During this tenure in 2008, Rotondo received the “Most Promising Chef” award from Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller after competing for the United States Bocuse d’Or, widely regarded as the epitome of culinary competitions worldwide.
“Chef Trotter taught me the art of cooking with subtlety and finesse, focusing on what’s most important--a truly balanced and exceptional dining experience,” Rotondo says.
Prior to joining Charlie Trotter’s, Rotondo worked at the Five-Star, Five Diamond Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, Florida, experiencing a unique type of cuisine focusing on flavors from South Florida and Latin America. He also lived in Europe for two years, working in multiple Michelin star restaurants, traveling, and tasting the bounties from different countries, including a stint beside Paul Bocuse in France.
Rotondo plans to interpret the Parallel 37 restaurant concept with a focus on food and wine found along the 37th parallel, the circle of latitude running through the San Francisco Bay Area, and an eye towards globally inspired California cuisine.
Rotondo brings a sense of fun to his often-changing, interactive menus. Dinner options could include a farm fresh hen egg with caramelized brussels sprouts and sweet & sour rhubarb ($16); Dungeness crab with green tomato and Thai basil linguini ($21); or Oxtail with nasturtium, chocolate, and honey mustards ($23). Restaurant manager Justin Kindel hand-selects optional beverage pairings for the menu each evening, which could include small-production wines, locally produced beer, or hand-crafted cocktails by award-winning bar star, Camber Lay.
With the new menu, which is organized by primary ingredient, from lighter to heavier items, Parallel 37 guests enjoy an approachable and collaborative dining experience, with a knowledgeable and engaging staff helping to forge a unique path for each table. Guests might enjoy a few dishes for a quick dining experience, explore the menu and share an array of plates, or embark upon Rotondo’s eight-course, market-inspired tasting menu prepared for the entire table ($135 per person; $75 optional beverage pairing).
Located in The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, Parallel 37 is at 600 Stockton Street, between California and Pine streets. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and offers $10 valet parking. Additional information may be found at parallel37sf.com.