Executive Chef — New York City's James London
Chef London brings a wealth of culinary experience to San Francisco from some of New York City’s best restaurants — most recently, Hotel on Rivington's trendy eatery, CO-OP. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute in New York, Chef London opened La Fonda del Sol, consulted on the relaunch of The Crow’s Nest, and then shifted his focus to Japanese food, opening Niko in SoHo. He’s worked alongside such culinary giants as Josh Dechillis (who worked with David Bouley and Rocco Dispirito), and
both Jacques Pepin and André Soltner at the French Culinary Institute.
James London's culinary philosophy is simple: cook delicious food based on quality ingredients. His inspiration comes from a childhood spent in South Carolina, with memories of oyster roasts and gathering around the family table - themes that are reflected in his approach to cooking, which is always centered around hospitality.
History of The Elite Cafe
This original Art Deco-inspired restaurant was built by Milan Kralevich in 1928 and named the Lincoln Grill.
The ceiling fans, light fixtures, mahogany bar, and private dining booths made it a popular place to be and "to be seen" through its various incarnations.
The Elite Cafe opened in 1981 under Sam Duvall and Tom Clendening. It was the premiere, upscale Cajun & Creole restaurant in San Francisco and one of the most beloved establishments in the city. The menu originally adhered to classic Cajun & Creole cooking.
At the end of 2005, the menu underwent a complete overhaul to become a restaurant offering "American Cooking with a New Orleans accent." In addition, the spectacular Art Deco design elements were all refurbished and returned to their original magnificence.
We feel honored to continue the tradition of this institution in one of the great restaurant cities in the world.
As veterans of some renowned San Francisco restaurants, including the Alta Plaza and the Blue Light Cafe, Peter Snyderman and The Elite Team were able to further nurture The Elite by bringing expertise and a heightened sense of style and quality to the service, food,
and wine & cocktails. The Elite serves naturally-raised meats, a seasonally changing menu with Creole & Cajun accents, top quality ingredients, an extensive & often unique cocktail list, and a 100-bottle wine list with 20 offerings by the glass.
Management & Philosophy
As veterans of some renowned San Francisco restaurants, including the Alta Plaza and the Blue Light Cafe, Peter Snyderman and The Elite Team were able to further nurture The Elite
by bringing expertise and a heightened sense of style and quality to the service, food, and wine & cocktails. The Elite serves naturally-raised meats, a seasonally changing menu
with Creole & Cajun accents, top quality ingredients, an extensive & often unique cocktail list, and a 100-bottle wine list with 20 offerings by the glass.
The Elite Cafe team brings more than 40 years of restaurant experience to our tables. We believe in creating an overall experience that is not only comprised of wonderful food,
lovely service, and excellent value, but we strive to make your time with us entertaining, pleasurable, and satisfying in every way. If there is ever anything that is not exactly
as you would like, PLEASE let us know so that we can correct it for you. The greatest favor any patron can do for an establishment is to give them the opportunity to make things right
if something happens to be off.
Peter B. Snyderman, Proprietor - Peter[at]TheEliteCafe.com
A San Francisco native, Peter Snyderman graduated from Lowell High School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California at Berkeley.
Peter's restaurant education began in 1988 when he had the opportunity to "study" with some of San Francisco's top restaurateurs. He was part of the opening team for Doug Biederbeck's swanky BIX Restaurant &
Lounge, Harry Denton's Southside nightclub, and Jeremiah Tower's Speedo 690 restaurant.
In 1990, Peter and a group of partners opened the Fillmore Grill in Pacific Heights. He and his partners then purchased and re-invented Union Street's famed Blue Light Cafe. After selling his interest in these two operations,
Peter joined the boutique division of the Kendall-Jackson Winery as their sales & marketing manager for Northern California.
In early 1994, Peter re-purchased the Fillmore Grill to re-open the beloved Alta Plaza Restaurant & Bar. For more than five years, Peter operated the Alta Plaza, earning a Three-Star review from Patricia Unterman and
accolades from many local publications, radio, and television critics. The Alta Plaza also received a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for its Commitment to Public Service.
Then, in early 2005, Peter heard that one of his former Fillmore Street neighbors, The Elite Cafe, was available for sale; the deal had to be done. Since re-opening The Elite in December 2005, Peter and The Elite Team have
nurtured this great restaurant, adding heated outdoor dining and valet parking to the already delicious guest experience.