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A cafe for dogs, with a French chef, opens in San Francisco with a $75 tasting menu

By Martine Paris | Bloomberg

San Francisco’s downtown may be deserted as many residents continue to work remotely. But in the nearby hipster enclave of the Mission, the city has literally gone to the dogs. In late September, Dogue, a fine-dining experience for hounds, threw open its doors.

Located at 988 Valencia, just blocks from where the founder of Doge coin once hosted a crypto hangout, the bougie canine cafe is serving up a raw dog feast. Its ‘Pawtisserie’ offers doggucinos with seasonal pastries that include a coconut shortcrust cookie and a Golden Paste Cake, made with all organic ingredients including pastured cream, turmeric and coconut oil. On Sundays the storefront transforms into a “Bone Appetite Cafe” featuring bespoke meal plans tailored to a dog’s age, weight, activity level and special dietary needs. Prices are not listed on the website, but SF Chronicle pegs the tasting menu at $75.

For pups with allergies, Dogue is quite the game changer, raves a five-star reviewer on Yelp.

“The owner is classically trained in French cuisine and has certainly displayed his brilliance through his puppy pastries. They are gorgeous and totally healthy for your dog. Each pastry is $15 and they are a work of art,” posted Ann L.

Owner Rahmi Massarweh, a San Francisco-based French chef, is aiming to bring his unique brand of fresh, seasonal food to pet parents. In a town known for having more pooches than babies, he might be onto something.

Catering to pets has become big business in the US. Americans spent more than $123 billion on their furry companions between 2019 and 2021, according to the American Pet Products Association, and the National Retail Federation is estimating that $710 million will be spent on pets this Halloween.

Chic eateries have been adding special menu items for Fido ever since 2014 when dogs were allowed in outdoor dining in California. Eater San Francisco has been tracking the trend and notes that Michelin-starred Angler delights canines with complimentary salmon and chicken biscuits topped with “caviar” while Tacolicious hosts a weekly Barklet Happy Hour with “churro” chews.

“Our first ‘Bone Appetit’ cafe was a success, we had some wonderful dogs (and pet parents) come in to enjoy a meal today,” Dogue reported on its Instagram Reel.

The post detailed the three-course tasting menu which featured a chicken bone broth soup made with a whole chicken, simmered with organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar for eight hours and infused with organic chaga mushrooms. A second course featured a chicken skin waffle and charcoal flan, while the main course of hand-cut, grass-fed steak tartare, was dressed with quail egg and organic broccoli sprouts.

Fit for humans, boasts the website — but made for dogs. Only in San Francisco.

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