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Aug 28, 2006 02:29 PM

Chez Panisse or Gary Danko---if you had one night, which would you choose?

Chez Panisse or Gary Danko---if you had one night, which would you choose?

Also what is the apporx cost?

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  1. They are entirely different. It depends on what you prefer: ingredient-driven cooking with minimum technique and saucing (CP), or ingredient-driven cooking with a bit more classic technique (GD). The type of service is also different, with GD being a bit more formal and "upscale."

    1 Reply
    1. re: Paul H

      What he said.

      Personally, I'd pick Chez Panisse, though.


    2. Chez Panisse. It's normally $50 Monday, $65 Tuesday to Thursday, and $85 Friday and Saturday.

      Gary Danko's prices are online:

      1. Danko food of a person. Technical perfection. Tighter presentation.

        CP food of a locale. Perfect ingredients. Elegant.

        Service comparably high but different styles.

        Personally I'd opt for CP. GD could be in any city. CP is synonymous with Northern California.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Karl Gerstenberger

          Exactly. All other things being equal, go with the place that's more unique and/or historically/culturally significant.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Gary Danko's certainly more like restaurants you might find in any other major city.

        2. agree, GD is like most fine high end food places, only not as interesting as Jean Georges or Charlie Trotter (or FLdry).
          Its a matter of style. Some people want the high end food thing foie gras and lobster. If thats your thing, GD, otherwise, Chez Panisse. (I prefer the cafe to the restaurant.)

          1. I'm in the minority I guess. I find CP overrated and pretentious, and hate the lack of choice on the menu.If you have just one meal, why spend it eating something you don't care for? I love GD.

            5 Replies
            1. re: goingoutagain

              I've never been served anything I didn't care for at Chez Panisse. Picky eaters would be better off going upstairs to order a la carte.

              Overrated? Chez Panisse is two of my five favorite restaurants. The only other place where I've eaten so consistently well year after year is Zuni Cafe.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                we have been going to Chez Panisse at least 2 or3 times a year (more upstairs in the cafe) since the early 80's and I have never had a bad meal - except the one time they had a special dinner and the dessert was some frozen anise (not my fav) souffle. I can't understand how anyone can be underwhelmed and consider the restaurant pretentious! It is the most unassuming of all 5 star restaurants around the bay area.

              2. re: goingoutagain

                pretentious is one word I can't imagine as being applicable to CP. I've never eaten at Gary Danko, so I can't really compare, but then, one reason I've never been enthused about going there is that it is my impression based on other reports that tables are crammed very close together (which seems to go with that 'bright lights big city feel' which I am not very fond of: yet one more reason besides my love for both the food and the service at CP that I would choose CP...)

                1. re: susancinsf

                  "Pretentious" was sloppy wording I guess. Overly precious is what I meant.

                2. re: goingoutagain

                  Agree. My husband and I have been decidely underwhelmed by this place. I can buy great local ingredients and prepare them simply at home for a lot less money. Especially since I don't get to the Bay Area as frequently as I once did, I wouldn't want to waste a dinner at CP.