by Tiffany Maleshefski - 25 Reviews - 5 List
If only we could all live life as Don Draper does: a glass of scotch (neat) at 10am, a three-martini lunch at noon, a thick steak (and more whiskey) at dinner, enjoyed in a luxurious dining room dripping with dark woods and leather banquettes. Those were the days! Fortunately for those of us missing "Mad Men," these spots offer the same strong drinks, forgotten foods (crab Louie, anyone?) and manly, nostalgic atmosphere.
Updated: December 03, 2009
Located inside what was once an assay office dating back to the Gold Rush, Bix oozes vintage sophistication from its breathtaking, Deco-inspired interior to its impeccable service. It's easy to picture Draper at the sweeping mahogany bar, savoring an ice-cold martini after a hard day dreaming up ads for Pan Am and suavely harassing his female underlings.
Jardiniere's brick facade is a foil for the stunning and opulent glamour that captures the sophisticated and stylish era masterfully evoked in "Mad Men." Encircling the ground-level main dining room and its marble and mahogany bar is a balcony that has ice buckets actually built into the railing, so celebratory bubbly is never out of reach.
At this power-broker den in the Huntington Hotel, you could easily imagine Draper and his chain-smoking cronies three martinis deep at the masculine, wood-paneled bar, with its overstuffed leather chairs and flaming hearth, before digging into the retro, pre-cholesterol-awareness menu of pot roast, rack of lamb and chicken pot pie.
With its dark and moody lighting, wealth of nooks and corners and a password required for entry, Bourbon & Branch is ideal for a secret rendezvous. Picture an adulterous Don putting the moves on some poor schlub's wife, groping her smug in the knowledge that no unexpected guests will discover this lair.
Ideal for a Sunday afternoon outing, this San Francisco institution is hardly just for tourists--anybody who likes a stiff drink in the morning with no one the wiser will appreciate its famous Irish Coffee, and "Mad Men" has done more to revive the early-am drink than anyone.
Back in the day, San Francisco's oldest restaurant was men's only, but guys like Draper would still love it: The long counter is the restaurant's centerpiece and a popular place for dark-suited downtown types to get a straightforward lunch. After work, the bistro-style restaurant is a good choice for indulging in cravings for shrimp cocktails and crab Louie.
If you pine for the days when meat was served in carts wheeled directly to your table and piles of buttery mashed potatoes and creamed spinach were as natural to have on the table as bread and butter, then this old-school steakhouse and its crisp-white-shirted servers is your holy grail.