Magazine article Sunset

Food Plus Fun

Magazine article Sunset

Food Plus Fun

Article excerpt

The setting is the show at these four San Francisco eateries

A truly special evening out includes more than just a meal. Throw a foreign film into the mix, or dancing in a rainstorm. Or perhaps a manicure with your martini. A manicure? Why not? At these four San Francisco hot spots, fab food and drink pairs with entertainment of the quirky kind.

* Forbes Island. Dining on Forbes Island is like spending an evening in a good friend's home--except that the home is floating in the bay. Forbes Thor Kiddoo built his dream home, a 700-ton floating island, in 1975--but it became a restaurant only in February 1999. Kiddoo personally escorts guests on a five-minute cruise to the island, proudly pointing out the live palm trees he planted and the 40-foot lighthouse he built. In the underwater dining room, you'll be warmed by the fireplace and surrounded by portal windows, where you might, on a good night, see the shadow of a sand shark darting by. The French-inspired food is surprisingly good--as reflected by the prices (entrees average $28). Dinner Wed-Sun; reservations requested. Pier 39, H Dock (use house phone for pickup); (415) 951-4900 or www.forbesisland.com.

* Foreign Cinema. Federico Fellini is a regular at this Mission district spin-off of a drive-in theater--it's an "eat-in." The nearly year-old restaurant's spare warehouse-chic style matches the gritty black-and-white international films that are projected onto a neighboring building wall. Both the flicks and the patrons possess a certain bohemian je ne sais quoi. On our last visit, we watched a surreal drama about a bourgeois dinner party that never ends; one table over was a blonde in a trench coat who looked as though she could have been in the cast. It's tricky to negotiate subtitles and curried mussels ($10) at the patio tables; crank up the volume at your tableside speaker if your Italian or French is good. …

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