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The Hot 5: Hotel Vitale's San Francisco

The Hot 5: Hotel Vitale's San Francisco

The Hot 5: Hotel Vitale's San Francisco

Visitors to San Francisco are lucky to have Keith DiBene in their court. As Hotel Vitale's Chief Concierge, he lets us in the secrets of what's shaking up Sodom by the Sea this season.

Visitors to San Francisco are lucky to have Keith DiBene in their court. As Hotel Vitale's Chief Concierge, he lets us in the secrets of what's shaking up Sodom by the Sea this season: 

1. Brain Candy -- With the recent acquisition of the Fisher Collection, the Museum of Modern Art's (151 Third Street, 415-357-4000) extraordinary 20th Century collection of art gets an impressive 1,100 piece bump. Oenophiles shan't miss the latest exhibition How Wine Became Modern, focusing on the transformation of heaven's nectar over the last 30 years. Set aside a little time for a java break in the rooftop Sculpture Garden. Local Blue Bottle coffee is art in itself. 

2. Cocktail Hour -- Lime (2247 Market Street, 415-621-5256), reminiscent of a contemporary '60s lounge with a spacious and seductive interior, serves up cocktails as festive as the crowd is playful. But the real scene is during bottomless mimosa weekend brunch: snag a table by the large front windows for primo people watching inside and out. 

3. Castro Cuisine --A year old with a diehard following, Frances(3870 17th Street, 415-621-3870offers an ever-evolving modern California cuisine without the inflated prices. Succulent meats, flakey seafood, and creative vegetarian items derive from a seasonal nightly menu bursting with greenmarket freshness. Small intimate interior; advance reservations strongly suggested.

4. Outside Exploits -- Located in the Marina district, the breathtaking  Palace of Fine Arts (3301 Lyon Street, 415-563-6504) shines after an extensive renovation of its building, lake, and surrounding gardens. Harness your inner eco athlete and rent a bike to fully appreciate the scenery. Afterwards, cruise to Crissy Fields for white-sand beaches and unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Yearning for more? Pedaling across to Saulsalito is an adventurous rite of passage.

5. Locavore Heaven – Without question, the single biggest catalyst of change on the waterfront is the Ferry Building (415-983-8030; across from Vitale). The city's foodie mecca -- especially the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday farmers' markets -- is unequalled in most urban landscapes, offering an incredible, open-air marketplace with merchants hawking local, sustainable products from chocolates and olive oil to wines and fresh seafood. For a picnic lunch or proper sit-down, it can't be beat. Although the spaces of a few restaurants such as Il Cane Rosso and Boulettes Larder are simple, the creativity of their menus is always exceptionable.

Check in: Hotel Vitale. Luxury, California-style, the city's first high-class organic hotel sports stunning views of the Embarcadero (corner rooms facing the Bay Bridge are key), quality spa, soothing modern furnishings and dreamy bedding, all from gay-owned chain Joie de Vivre. Muted woods and blues imbue a Zen-like effect. The grass-covered roofdecks are the perfect place to take in a sunset or some morning yoga. Rooms from $339. 8 Mission Street; 415-278-3700; HotelVitale.com

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