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Mar 31, 2003 03:07 PM

san fran old school

  • c

Delicious with good service and maybe a little romance thrown in too. Where should we go if wanting to eat in one of the classic dining places of SF? Some of my ideas are Masa's & Fleur de lys... is the food still good? Any other suggestions?

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  1. Ernies, maybe? Every time I watch Vertigo, I rue the confluence circumstances that kept me away from the City until it was too late to eat there. (Though, I did get to eat at La Bourguignon, which I seem to recall was somewhere on the flanks of Nob Hill).

    But, more to the point, and more seriously, what do you mean by "old school"? Is the romance you are looking for, the "romance of the past", or is it a quiet upscale restaurant with some privacy?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Paul H

      Delicious, classic, great service, and not too tacky of a room like fleur de lys seems to have as per website.

      1. re: chump

        For classic service, a classic & elegant room with world-class food, I'd opt for Fifth Floor or Elizabeth Daniel. Make certain to bring lots of money.

        1. re: Paul H

          don't recommend elizabeth daniel b/c of their arrogant service. food is luxurious but not incredible.

      2. re: Paul H

        Forgive the correction, but since La Bourgogne was one of the greatest restaurants I've ever had the pleasure of visiting and I made it a habit to visit often during the glory years when the opening chef was still there, I had to point out the correct name of that culinary landmark.

        The original location was on Mason, between Geary and O'Farrell. In later years it moved a few yards away into the alley.

        Ernie's was bigger on atmosphere than excellence. When I first ate there, it was "continental." Later, it managed to have a couple of well-trained French chefs, but always remained, in my estimation, more dedicated to the kind of expensive showmanship it believed, perhaps rightfully, its clientele preferred than to first-rate ingredients and preparation.

        In those days, most restaurants in that rarified price category knew their customers and catered "down" to them rather than trying to thrill or educate their palates. That was one reason La Bourgogne was such a revelation when it opened in 1961.

        1. re: Fine

          Thanks for the correction. When I saw the correct spelling, it was obvious I had made a mistake. I believe I ate there in 1975. Looking on Google, I see that several renowned chefs made their way to the U.S. through the kitchen of La Bourgogne. Do you recall when it closed?

          1. re: Paul H

            The owner, Jean Lapuyade, closed the place in December 1985, when his last lease expired. He died in 1995 at 74.

            1. re: squid-kun

              A twenty four year run is not bad. I am glad I was able to eat there, even if it was not during the heyday.

            2. re: Paul H

              I really don't recall when La Bourgogne closed because, to my taste, once the great original chef departed, in '72, it was never the same, and I returned infrequently. It was just too painful to taste the pale shadows of the exquisite dishes he'd introduced to the menu.

            3. re: Fine

              La Bourgogne is where I had my first and best quenelle, like puffy clouds in my mouth. What a wonderful memory.

          2. Tatishes is old school, but not romantic.

            Old and the new blend well at Jeanty at Jack's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SLRossi

              That would be Tadich Grill (I don't usually correct spelling, but it should be close enough to look it up).

              Very, very traditional old San Francisco. Try it for lunch, as it is not romantic and the service, while very professional, can be brusque.

            2. how about alfred's? old time steak house. it has moved from it's original location, but still seems like a classic.