It’s not a big surprise for many people that San Francisco, where dogs outnumbered children, now presents an exclusive dining experience for beloved pets.
While some eateries may welcome customers’ furry friends during a sit-down meal, Dogue — which opened Sept. 25 in San Francisco’s Mission District — allows only canines.
Rahmi Massarweh, owner and head chef, said Dogue might be the first restaurant in the country to serve a tasting menu just for dogs. It offers meticulously prepared pastries from its in-house “pawtisserie” and French-inspired courses made with locally sourced, organic ingredients.
“What we do doesn’t generally exist,” Massarweh said. “My approach is as if it were a human restaurant. It’s as if you have come into my restaurant, and the star guest is your dog.”
During the week, Dogue serves Parisian pastries and “dogguccinos” that start at $4.95. A $75 three-course meal — seasonal and rotates frequently — is served only for Sunday walk-ins. Massarweh said pet owners could choose from various dishes to suit their faithful furry friends, like organic beef chuck steak with fermented carrots and beets or green-lipped mussels with fermented carrots and wheatgrass.
Massarweh prepares and offers every dish — even the ones he cooks nightly for his dogs: Grizzly, Luna, Achilles, and Sir Wellington.
Burned out from working in the restaurant industry for nearly a dozen years, Massarweh stepped out of the kitchen in 2015 to open a doggy daycare center with his wife. He resumed preparing fresh-cooked food for his dogs daily and finally began prepping the same portions into weekly doggy bags for his personal daycare customers.
He said he asked his veterinarian to help refine the dishes to ensure they’re balanced, complete, and contain dog-safe ingredients.
Jason Villacampa stated he learned about Dogue after seeing a photo of one of the elaborate pastries on his Instagram feed. So he brought his corgis, Captain and Tony, to the restaurant’s grand opening, he said, where the pups dined on chicken and chaga mushroom soup, a chicken-skin waffle with charcoal flan, and grass-fed steak tartare with microgreens.
Villacampa said, “Food is a love language, and I think it’s another way to kind of express and share love with your dog.” “It’s a way to take care of them and share healthy but fun food as well.”