The Financial District is packed full of movers and shakers fueling the most recent "gold rush" in San Francisco. While all that money can buy a lot of things, what it can't buy is a signature style that takes cultures generations to develop.
Gaspar Brasserie – French restaurant par excellence – is a welcome breather from the "What's the next cool thing?" rush of the current tech culture. This thoughtful and authentic restaurant will bring you back to the days of a slower but often more meaningful way of life.
Inspired by the intimate restaurants of Paris in the 1950s, Gaspar Brasserie is a romantic reminder of simpler days, while also holding its own within the tech-fueled swagger of the city's Financial District.
Gaspar Brasserie in San Francisco — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
As with all things French, Gaspar Brasserie is all about food and drink. Whether lunch, dinner or dessert, the downstairs restaurant features exquisite French dishes such as Smoked Salmon Mille Crepes, Wild Flounder Grenobloise and Orange Cheesecake Flan.
After such a sumptuously French meal, it's unthinkable not to top your appetite off with a cognac, the exalted liquor of France since the 17th century. And you don't have to go far to get one: head upstairs to Gaspar's new Cognac Room.
Let the good times roll in the upstairs Cognac Room! — Photo courtesy of Aubrie Pick
Although there are many "cognacs" out there, Gaspar only serves French cognac as authentic as their meals, made from white grapes near the town of Cognac and aged at least two years.
Lead Bartender John Codd, in his element at Gaspar Brasserie — Photo courtesy of Aubrie Pick
Gaspar Brasserie even includes the lesser-known Armagnac liquor, which is included in cocktails such as The Morning Glory (Armagnac, rye, Cointreau, Angostura bitters and seltzer).
"Armagnac, unlike cognac, stayed less known because it was produced inland and not near the Dutch trade route. Cognac is closer to the coast, so it became much more popular and commercialized," explains Jonathan Allen, Gaspar Brasserie's general manager.
Although these tasty drinks are well worth their $12 cost, you can hit up happy hour (Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and get them at half price. It's easily one of the best happy hours in the pricey financial district.
Offering a sophisticated atmosphere, succulent dishes, to-die-for desserts and the best brandy selection around, Gaspar Brasserie is the crème de la crème of French restaurants in San Francisco.