Joanna Karlinsky is our restaurateur of the quarter. She has just purchased the Hotel Utah Restaurant, Bar & Club at 500 4th St. in San Francisco and was represented by Restaurant Realty. Joanna’s other great restaurant is The Meetinghouse at 1701 Octavia in San Francisco.
Born and bred in New York City, Joanna’s passion for food began at an early age, during dinners at restaurants like Lutece and Maxwell’s Plum. She and her childhood friends playeda game called “Elaine’s,” in which they acted out their own version of the infamous restaurant’s cast of characters. While her friends fought over which actor or writer they wanted to play, Joanna was always Elaine. “I was definitely born to run a restaurant,” she says.
Eventually, Joanna went to the Culinary Institute of America, where she was classically trained. After cooking in restaurants in New York, Boston, Seattle and Napa County, she opened her own in San Francisco. At The Meetinghouse, she pursues two of her deepest passions: cooking and holding court. “I love cooking and all of it nuances, but what is really rewarding is knowing most of my guests by name.”
The Meetinghouse takes seasonal, contemporary American food to its highest level with an unparalleled devotion to detail. As for the restaurant’s ambiance, Joanna likes to say “The food is dressed up, but you don’t have to be.”
The Hotel Utah will no doubt continue Joanna’s creativity and the menu will feature such items as: portabello mushroom burger with roasted garlic mayonnaise; avocado, pasilla chili & jack cheese quesadilla; Meetinghouse biscuits & honey butter; beer batter fried Blue Lake green beans with lemon mayonnaise; slow cooked autumn greens with a cambazola cheese crouton and mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. We wish Joanna lots of continued success.