What delivers the highest buzz in San Francisco? Rooftop beehives.
The Chronicle and Bi-Rite have their own colonies, but the bees with the best zip code in town are at the Fairmont Hotel: Nob Hill views, access to the penthouse suite (if the resident opens the windows just after a flower delivery), and ample gardens.
Does that urban splendor result in better-tasting honey? Here's a chance for you to be the judge.
Executive chef J.W. Foster of Laurel Court Restaurant and Bar in the Fairmont is as much of a bee advocate as beekeeper Spencer Marshall. The bees have been producing some great stuff in their first year at the hotel. The first batch was highlighted with lavender notes, while the second was far more savory with eucalyptus undertones.
Laurel Court has used the more savory honey to cure gravlax and in tartare. As for the third harvest, we don't know yet, but according to @FairmontSFbees, last week hotel workers harvested 150 pounds of honey.
Starting this week, the restaurant will be doing an exclusive three-course $50 Honey Hive Menu in conjunction with Blackboard Eats. The menu launches July 7 and runs for 30 days for Blackboard Eats subscribers who download a special code.
There will also be a special "hive" cocktail with honey produced by these highly organized, though nonunion, hotel workers. It's a chance to get sticky at the Fairmont without getting a room.