ok people, my sweetie and i are in dire need some help. we are getting married in a civil ceremony at city hall in sf. our parents will be in town and we'd like to arrange a post- ceremony dinner (it'll be small only 6 or 7 people tops). we need some recommendations concerning where should we go for some excellent food and a celebratory atmosphere without astrononical prices. oh, also, since my mother cannot eat any dairy products -- not even a smidgeon-- or she will keel over in lactose-intolerant agony-- we need a place that doesn't put dairy in every dish on the menu.
our wedding feast is in your hands....
I faced this problem myself recently and chose to book a Chinese restaurant both for price and lack of dairy. The difficulty was finding one with ambience and reasonable (not outstanding)food. I finally opted for the Empress of China which is decorated in the imperial style throughout with a nice ante-bar for drinks and an attractive romantic dining room. It also has lovely views of the Coit tower area as it is located on the sixth floor. I suggest going in and speaking to the manager about what you have in mind. He has a range of different banquet menus. During the week you can book a banquet of several courses for $24 per person including tax.On the weekends its more, around $30. You can order Bei jing duck (peking duck) in advance.Just think you could make it a real occasion by setting it up as a theme wedding: ask all the ladies to turn up in Chinese dress (qi pao/cheong sam-these can be purchased very cheaply in Chinatown).
My wife and I had our wedding reception at Venticello, corner of Washington and Taylor (or Jones) on Nob Hill. This is a terrific San Francisco spot, upscale and intimate, yet with a nice urban energy. Solid Northern Italian genre, good seafood, pasta, veal etc. All our guests were impressed and the restaurant did a fabulous job accomodating us. I realize you have a smaller group but the wedding tie-in compelled me to mention this spot. If this seems too sedate for you and you want to try another real San Francisco spot, I would suggest Bix. Very upscale, supper club type feel, dark, jazzy, great place to celebrate and the out of towners will be tres impressed. Congratulations and much happiness.
Best wishes for your upcoming marriage!
It would help in suggesting restaurants if you could give us more specifics on what you consider "astronomical" prices and where and when you want to eat (for example, do you want someplace you can walk to directly from the ceremony, or are you going to gather somewhere later). If the former, since City Hall is across from the Opera House, you might want to peruse previous discussions on this board of restaurants for pre-opera dining.
re: Ruth Lafler
well, i suppose i'd imagined that we'd all gather someplace later, especially since i'm not all that fond of the civic center/opera house area. our parents will be visiting from the east coast and so we would like to take them to something characterisically san franciscan...so we're open about the neighborhood.
as for "astronomical", $35 an entree would be a bit much...
does this help?
How about Chez Panisse? Entrees upstairs max out in the low to mid twenties. Not very San Franciscan, but definitely uniquely Bay Area.
Do look through some of our more recent threads on places in SF to eat at. Here's are a few of those threads (do scan the SF Board archives):