Table Talk: Enjoy Being Outside with Presidio Twilight, Mother’s Day Picks for Food-Loving Moms, Tune In to F&B Voices from the Kitchen

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Dining at 54 Mint during the day offers a charming atmosphere, perfect for Mother’s Day. (Julia Spiess)

Rain is less and less in the forecast, so it’s a good time to eat alfresco at Presidio Twilight on Thursdays or Presidio Picnic on Sundays. There’s also the new rooftop bar from Twenty Five Lusk in case you don’t like nature. If you’re looking for some Mother’s Day options in San Francisco, check out these three ideas for moms who love to eat. Mark your calendar for the latest F&B Voices from the Kitchen from La Cocina, and Uptown Oakland gets an SF burger shop.

Presidio Twilight has returned on Thursdays—bring on the lobster rolls and fire pits.
Presidio Twilight has returned on Thursdays—bring on the lobster rolls and fire pits. (Eric Bailey)

Presidio Twilight and Presidio Picnic

Main Parade Ground, Sheridan Ave., San Francisco

It’s that time of the year when San Franciscans go from a down jacket to sweater and hat (but always a scarf), and it’s also when Presidio Twilight returns, thanks to The Presidio Trust and Off the Grid. Starting on May 17, every Thursday evening from 5pm–9pm, you can come down to the Main Parade Ground with your posse and gather around the fire pits and 30 cabanas (complete with lanterns), and take your pick of vittles from vendors like Mozzeria (Neapolitan pizza), lobster rolls from Cousins Maine Lobster (ask them to tell you about their Shark Tank experience), and Johnny Doughnuts for dessert. New additions include I Love Cheesesteak, offering Asian-fusion cheesesteak like seasoned ribeye bao with onion, bell peppers, nacho cheese, and bacon. Don’t tell your cardiologist. There’s also live music and outdoor games (good idea to move around after the cheesesteak).

Another option is the popular Presidio Picnic, which already returned on Sundays, 11am–4pm — grab your friends, a blanket, sunscreen, and enjoy up to 25 different food vendors, and a yoga class at 11am.

Kudos to the organizers for trying to make both zero-waste events! All containers provided by food vendors are compostable, and no plastic straws or water bottles are sold—please "leave no trace" and think about taking public transpo.

The well-appointed rooftop space at Rooftop 25.
The well-appointed rooftop space at Rooftop 25. (Anne-Claire Thieulon)

Twenty-Five Lusk's Rooftop 25

25 Lusk St, San Francisco


Want more fresh air? You got it. Now open in SoMa is the new rooftop bar at Twenty-Five Lusk called Rooftop 25. Not only is it spacious, with room for 100 guests, but it’s also tricked out with a windscreen, retractable canopy, heaters, and blankets, plus there’s a cabana lounge that fits 14 (snuggle up). Designer Cass Calder Smith from CCS Architecture + Design obviously understands San Francisco weather.

Here’s the fun part: it’s open Sun–Wed 11:30am–8pm and Thu–Sat 11:30am–10pm, so you can come by for chef Matthew Dolan’s menu for lunch or happy hour or dinner. Or that magic window in SF weather when we have sun for an hour at 3pm, ha. Bites include roasted oysters with tequila-yuzu butter, wood-fired pizzas or prawns, flatiron steak salad, and a Dungeness crab roll. The cocktails are also meant to be fun, including a spicy blended passion fruit margarita and bottled cocktails.

La Cocina’s F&B Voices from the Kitchen brings speakers from all over the U.S.
La Cocina’s F&B Voices from the Kitchen brings speakers from all over the U.S. (

La Cocina’s F&B Voices from the Kitchen

The Gray Theater, 2665 Mission St., San Francisco
Friday, June 1, 6pm-8:30pm
Get Tickets

Have you ever had the chance to attend La Cocina’s F&B: Voices from the Kitchen? It’s a biannual series of storytelling events based around a theme, sharing stories, perspectives, and voices from and about the cooks and kitchens, and people that are heard from less often than others. It’s always a poignant and revealing evening, and proceeds from F&B support La Cocina’s business incubator program.

The next event is on Friday, June 1, and it’s based on the theme of service, sure to be a rich topic. The night of storytellers will include Chris Colin, journalist and author; Rachel Levin, writer and editor; Binita Pradhan, owner of Bini's Kitchen; Shanna Farrell, oral historian and author of Bay Area Cocktails; Randy Fertel, writer and philanthropist; and many more. Tickets are $65 (plus $4.24 service fee), and there’s always some tasty food and drink at the beginning too.

Beef short rib curry at Rooh.
Beef short rib curry at Rooh. (Kelly Puleio)

Mother's Day in San Francisco

54 Mint
16 Mint Plaza, San Francisco
Reservations: 415-543-5100; Hours: 12pm–8pm
$55 per person (tax, gratuity, and beverages not included)

Mother’s Day is fast approaching (Sunday, May 13, gang!), and it’s the one day you really need to make sure your mom is well-fed—after all the years of feeding you, it’s the least you can do. If your mama is more like a food-lovin’ mamma, you’ll want to take her to 54 Mint, since the Italians know all about honoring their mothers! Their three-course, family-style meal is available from 12pm–8pm, and includes choices like fava bean and pea-shoot salad with pecorino (eat your greens!), porchetta, and tiramisu.

206 Valencia St., San Francisco
Hours: 11am–2pm

If mom’s palate leans more toward the adventurous, Tawla is hosting an Eastern Mediterranean feast, and good news, you can come by for a savory brunch on either Saturday, May 12 or Sunday, May 13. There’s their incredible housemade pide (cheese-stuffed flatbread, with fresh chile and herb salad, pickles), roast leg of lamb with three sauces, and their special batata harra (crispy potatoes, maras, sumac, and you can add an egg, which is a great idea), plus other sides and vegetable dishes.

333 Brannan St., San Francisco
Hours: 11am-2:30pm and 5pm-9pm

Another spot that should be mom-approved (mine loved it) is ROOH in SoMa. This stylin’ progressive Indian restaurant is offering a three-course, prix fixe menu ($45) with flavorful dishes like tandoori monkfish, beef short rib curry, and coconut halwa bread pudding for dessert. Don’t miss their gorg brunch cocktails. ROOH will be open for both brunch (11am-2:30pm) and dinner (5-9pm) on Sunday, May 12 for Mother’s Day.

Roam Artisan Burgers is opening a location in Uptown Oakland.
Roam Artisan Burgers is opening a location in Uptown Oakland. (Kassie Borreson)

Roam Artisan Burgers is opening a location in Uptown Oakland

1951 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Hours: Daily 11:30am–10pm


Burger fans in the East Bay are about to get a second location of Roam Artisan Burgers—this latest one (their fifth) is opening in Uptown Oakland on May 11, just conveniently a block away from the Fox and Paramount Theaters. Roam is known for their sustainable sourcing and approach (the build-out was highly eco-conscious as well). The burgers are made with sustainable meats, including 100-percent grass-fed beef, free-range turkey, and an organic veggie burger. I go back to the Tejano again and again (pepper jack, jalapeño relish, avocado, tomato, white corn strips, herb ranch). There’s the fry-fecta too (russet fries, sweet potato fries, and zucchini-onion). You want a shake with that? They’re Straus Family Creamery shakes, and there’s even kombucha on tap. Bonus: this location will feature a special Springtime Burger with chimichurri, fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula, and herb mayo. There will also be indoor and outdoor dining.