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Sep 18, 2006 04:00 AM

San Francisco - Bad Experience at DiMaggio's

Just back from my birthday dinner and it was not fun. Freezing air blowing on my wife and teenage daughters and me and we got instant headaches. Told the waiter twice and he said they were working on it. Finally stopped a managerial-looking type and nearly bit his head off and then the air was shut off. By now bad feelings all around.

The waiters had no clue how to decant or pour wine, they just dumped it into the decanter and the glasses. My daughter ordered the crab cake appetizer, the waiter took the order without a problem and then returned and said they "don't have them, what esle do you want?". When she asked to see the menu again he was perterbed. Very amateurish.

The food was actually quite good, but it just couldn't overcome the experience. Thanks to the Chowhounds, we knew to ask for the steak with sauce on the side. Loved the potatoes gratin. Nice desserts.

Very bad acoustics in there. We could not hear each other talk. Loved Billy Philadelphia on the piano, but could hardly hear him in the restaurant.

One tip for Chowhounds and OpenTable folks: you won't get a booth (and they are by far the best seats in the house) unless you book/request it in advance.

Maybe again, but my hopes won't be as high. Too bad.

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  1. Sorry to hear this. In any event, happy birthday and thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks for the response

      1. I went there last night for an anniversary dinner with my girlfriend. While the prices were quite high for us, we found the service exemplary, almost to the point where it was a joke how often they came by.

        I would imagine the difference being that we were there on a Monday and it wasn't particularly crowded.

        3 Replies
        1. re: PJ Hyett

          While I'm passing out congratulations, a happy anniversary to you! Thanks for the software change to show "last post by".

          Don't imagine that DiMaggio's has skirt steak...

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I am still on the lookout for my skillet :-)

          2. re: PJ Hyett

            We went within days of the opening and also experienced the same type of excessive service. You couldn't say that the servers were inaccessible; it got to the point where I expected one of them to join us at the table. But a lot of it had to do with the fact that the server to patron ratio was about 1:1.

            I thought the steak was tasty, and the room nice, if a bit "corporate" looking.

            I imagine that the OP caught a server having a bad night, or perhaps a bad life, which was a shame. It seems like its always easy to have a bad outing on a birthday, etc., because expectations and hopes run high.

          3. We have been back a few more times and it is getting better and better. The wine service was completely turned around, very professional since the first experiece. We have always had booths since so that was much better. The food is still great and the service since the first visit has been much better and more like PJ Hyett's experience above: almost too attentive. Lastly, we haven't frozen since. Give it a try. The ambiance is classy old elegance. It is still quite loud.