The Greens Restaurant, operating out of an old Army machine shop at Fort Mason in San Francisco since 1979, is a surprising success. As one of the first restaurants to offer a completely vegetarian menu, before it was fashionable, the Greens established itself early as a trend setter and firmly in the food world as well. The Greens success stems from the inspiration and leadership of Chef Annie Somerville who has managed the kitchen for 28 of the restaurants 30 years of business.
Chef Somerville follows founding Chef Deborah Madison and both chefs are nationally recognized for their innovations and talent. Chef Somerville can occasionally be found outside of the Greens kitchen teaching cooking classes or contributing articles to magazines and other print publications. She is the author of at least 3 cookbooks.
The Greens was originally constructed and opened by the San Francisco Zen Center. The dining room offers a romantic view of San Francisco Bay, which includes the impressive Golden Gate Bridge, as diners immerse in a rare opportunity to enjoy a quiet meal with an emphasis on the food and conversation. It’s a respite from the busy technological and fast-paced, commuter based world whirling around beyond its walls.
The Greens’ vegetarian cuisine is created using local ingredients from the Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm, Bolinas Star Route Farms and local produce from the Ferry Buildings Farmer’s Market. As each plate was placed atop our table, the artistic touches of balanced colors followed by complimentary flavors satisfied our hunger and pleased our senses. While we could have made a meal of a variety of pre-courses, we didn’t want to miss the entrées so we ordered several of each and shared the bounty.
The innovative menu offerings, high quality of ingredients and memorable flavors take ones breath away. This is a place where eating could easily be a meditative experience. The next time you are near Fort Mason, don’t miss this beautiful experience in dining.
(The Greens Restaurant, no actual street address so head to Fort Mason and look for the Greens sign on the building nearest the boats at the Marina.)