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What's comparable to Delfina?

  • n

My boyfriends parents are coming into town, and they've elected me to pick the restaurant for Saturday night. Some of the places they like in San Francisco are Absinthe, Scala's, Postrio & Bella Trattoria.
Since we've been to Delfina, and it's one of my favorite places for a relaxed, not too elegant, but still quality meal at a reasonable price, I would like to find something comparable.
The details: Accommodate 5 people. Dinner reservations must be between 8:00-9:00 on Saturday. I know this complicates things a bit, but then again, that is why I turned to Chowhound. To my advantage is the fact that it is now much easier to get reservations than it was one year ago.
I've considered: Bizou, Cafe Jaqueline (spelling?), Globe (last time I was there I wasn't crazy about it, but am willing to give it another shot), Bix. Am not looking for stuff like Fifth Floor, Danko, Elizablth D's. I need to be comfortable recommending it and accepting that they pay the tab without feeling like I chose the priciest meal I could find.
Thanks! - NR

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    Zach Georgopoulos

    Haven't been to Delfina, so I can't tell you if it's comparable, but one of my favorite places to bring visiting family and quasi-family is Cafe Tiramisu on Belden Lane. Actually, there are a lot of casual, relaxed and good restaurants all along the lane, but I'm partial to Italian food...

    1. I think JohnFrank is somewhat comparable. Very simple and straight forward food, decent service, lively ambience. They have a new lounge where you can order off the menu, so if you can't get a reservation you can still try to drop in.

      1. One of my favorite places to go have a nice meal with my family when they come to visit is Firefly in Noe Valley. You might want to call them, very delicious food for a reasonable price and EXCELLENT desserts!
        I am sure that other people on this board have been there and find it yummy!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rachel

          I love Firefly. It's so relaxed and the food is always good. It's not a scene at all, which is why it's a good place to bring not-city types. It's my favorite restaurant in the city. I was just there Friday night and walked in without a reservation - no wait. Wouldn't have found that a year ago. Anyway- the pumpkin steak was delicious...served with snap peas. A yummy vegetarian dish. I also love Blue Plate on Mission. Try the ratatoullie and the peach pie (sp??) You can sit outside in the back garden if you want, but you have to get your parents to walk down Mission, which they might not be crazy about. :)

        2. We like both Bizou and Meetinghouse for family groups. Bizou can be a bit loud, but we've had good luck making reservations on relatively short notice.

          6 Replies
          1. re: amy

            Agree with the above 2 and would also add in Eos (great wine list) and Pane e Vino which we like a little more than Bella. Try the bananamisu for dessert at Eos - one of my favorite desserts in the city. Hawthorne Lane is also a great mainstay. I didn't quite read if it was this coming Saturday night or in the near future, but if it's this weekend, you might have some trouble at the above, but should not at Bizou or the Meetinghouse.

            1. re: srf1

              Some awesome ideas, Thanks!
              First of all, I have to say that the Bananamisu at Eos is definitely one of the most delicious and beautiful/creative desserts I've had in the city. I drive by and wish I could stop in and get some to go, but somehow I just don't think they'd appreciate it. Eos isn't really a to go kind of place.
              Some of the restaurants mentioned are my favorites, and reliable for when you don't know what people like. In this case, since I'm pretty comfortable with my dinner companions, and could not get into Delfina, I'm hoping to try something new.
              Unfortunately, Fringale was all booked up as well (good to know some restaurants are still filling up), so it looks like Bizou it is.
              And with all these suggestions, my list of "places to try" continues to grow .... got to do my part to keep good restaurants in business and the economy in motion.
              Happy Eating - Nancy

              1. re: Nancy Reyes

                The beef cheeks there are awesome IMHO. We have never been disappointed there - plus no haughtiness and very reasonable prices.

                1. re: srf1

                  Oh...that makes me even more excited. After viewing their menu on line the beef cheek and the rabbit were my top choices, think you've just influenced my decision. Now that I'm at it, any recs for appetizers?
                  Plus, I hear their wine list is fantastic, and my BF's parents just got back from a bike tour of France, so they'll love that.
                  Thanks - Nancy

                  1. re: Nancy Reyes

                    They have very good foie gras, an excellent terrine of duck liver, and my wife likes many of their salads. The food is very bistro-ish, with a comparison to Bistro Jeanty in Yountville (although I have to give the nod to Jeanty). We have an oversized wine cellar, so I usually try and use corkage (which they welcome - I believe it's $10 or $15), so I dont remember too many particulars of their wine list.

                2. re: Nancy Reyes

                  Nancy, next time you crave the Bananamisu, just step into the wine bar side at Eos. You can order the full menu there from the Eos kitchen. They'll also make you a burger (not on the menu) if that's what you feel like having. Very casual.

            2. How about Fringale? We've always had good dining experiences there.

              Here's the link to a sample dinner menu:

              Link: http://www.fringale.citysearch.com/4....

              1 Reply
              1. re: Nancy Berry

                I would second Fringale- great food, fabulous desserts and a small, well chosen, reasonably priced wine list.