The Seasons Bar and Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco has just introduced a new menu featuring locally-sourced drinks from mixologist Oliver Lee and bites from executive chef Mark Richardson.
“We have really focused on local producers,” said Lee. “Being part of a large national brand, it can be a little difficult. So while we still have some of the mainstays on our beverage list, like Grey Goose, Absolut and Bombay Sapphire, our hooch list features local distilleries like St. George in Alameda and Charbay in St. Helena.”
Lee said he changes the drink menu seasonally, relying on a lot of the fresh produce available in the Bay Area. In fact, his most recent menu, which debuted this month, features a drink called “Ocean Beach,” including kumquats from his own front yard. “The only problem is that I picked all the kumquats off the tree. I am preserving them as best as I can, but I’m not sure how long that drink will be on the list,” Lee said with a smile.
All of the new cocktails are fun takes on classics (The Farmer’s Market: gin, carrot and lemon juice, rosemary, The Speak Easy Sazerac: bourbon, absinthe, simple syrup, The Local Spy: gin, vodka, sauvignon blanc, orange). Lee said he likes to be a bit more creative with his seasonal menu since he has all the classic cocktails already as part of the regular bar program. Along with local spirits, Lee likes to feature local breweries and wineries as well (you’re likely to see Speakeasy, Anchor Steam and plenty of local red and white wine producers).
Lee and Richardson have also worked hand-in-hand to create a “symbiotic” bar bites menu. “We don’t really pair items together. It’s more about the ingredients matching up. Chef is from Kentucky so a lot of his food pays tribute to his upbringing.” Chef Richardson’s new menu includes Southern Fried Chicken Wings, Deviled Eggs from Petaluma (five different tastes: classic, truffle, smoked, ‘béarnaise’ and habanero), plus customary bar food such as a great charcuterie plate, oysters and The Duck Fat Burger.
“I like to have fun with the menu. I know I have a very diverse clientele with hotel guests, business people, families and those just looking to relax with a cocktail in our lounge,” Lee said. “So I have something for everyone. As fun as it is to come up with new cocktails, I still have the standbys and also classic ‘no booze’ cocktails which I try to feature prominently. From Tuesday-Friday, our pianist, Michael Udelson plays classics and sometimes breaks out contemporary hits. He will even play Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, which is so awesome!”
The Seasons Bar and Lounge offers plenty of comfortable seating (grab a window table to get a nice view outside or just to watch the clouds roll in) and is really a place that offers something for everyone: business people, those going to a show, out-of-town guests, families or those looking for just a beautiful, relaxing setting to wind down after a long day with a great cocktail and wonderful food. The Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is located at 757 Market Street and the Seasons Bar and Lounge is on the fifth floor. It is open Sunday-Thursday from 2:30-midnight and Friday and Saturday from 2:30-1 a.m.