One of the most important philanthropic events each year in the world of food is Taste of The Nation, the annual benefit supporting Share Our Strength's mission to eliminate childhood hunger. It also just so happens to be one of the events with the best lineups of food. The party moves to City View at the Metreon this year, where the restaurants will be divided up according to their SF neighborhood. So, for example, you can visit the "Mid-Market" neighborhood for bites from Alta CA and a preview of the forthcoming Bon Marche. A few other restaurants to look out for: the new Dirty Habit, from David Bazirgan and KronnerBurger, which is headed to Oakland. Now to further whet your palate, Zagat got a first look at some of the best bites to be served this year. Note that over half of the restaurants listed here are 2014 James Beard Foundation finalists or semi-finalists.
• A16 (Christopher Thompson): House-cured bresaola, shaved Sacramento delta asparagus, cave-aged sheep’s milk cheese
• B. Patisserie (Belinda Leong): Triple chocolate cake, coffee and mint
• Boulevard (Nancy Oakes): Polenta al Nero, Dungeness crab, uni, lardo panzanella, Laudemio olive oil
• Central Kitchen (Thomas McNaughton): Spring vegetable porridge, preserved lemon, egg yolk
• The Coachman (Charles Phan): Carrots, lentils, smoked date jam
• Foreign Cinema (John Clark & Gayle Pirie): House-made pate & charcuterie
• Hakkasan (Ho Chee Boon): Poached Peking dumplings
• Quince (Pastry Chefs Alen Ramos, Carolyn Nugent): Almond cake, cultured yogurt, candied rhubarb, green strawberry preserve
• Rich Table (Evan Rich): Raw carrots, carrot honey, brown butter
• Wayfare Tavern (Joey Elenterio): Truffled egg salad tartines
This year's gala takes place on March 27 and we're told tickets ($125-500) are still available. Buy yours here.