Foodie in Town
Im here in San Fran on a business trip for about 2 weeks and was looking for some suggestions of where I should go eat. My craving right now is fresh crab and I hear the season is about to start.
If anyone knows Montreal restos...Im looking for something similar in standard to bronte, l'express, and my new fav Brunoise. As well as some lower scale eateries which shouldnt be missed either.
Im staying in the Union Square area.
Thanks for any help.
I can't claim to be conversant with haute or even upper-mid-range Western cusine either here or in Montreal, but neither am I so provincial as to believe that "few SF chowhounds will know the restaurants in Montreal you refer to." I'd guess that more than a few SF Chowhounds are well-traveled enough to have visited what may be North America's foodiest city and can provide some one-on-one comparisons to the three you mentioned.
In a general sense, if you like high-end Asian fusion, there are probably plenty of places hereabouts to please you, though they probably will have a stronger emphasis on the Asian side of the equation than Brunoise. Some of the best crab treatments, incidentally, are at Asian restaurants. From what I hear, we also have enough Cal-Italian fusion places to give you a fighting chance of finding a reasonable cognate to Bronte. As far as (Montreal's) l'express goes, my understanding is that it's pretty hard-core French bistro style which may be hard to match here, for understandable demographic reasons.
One thing I can assure you is that we have NOTHING like Au Pied de Cochon, though I can only hope there are a few mute inglorious Martin Picards around.
As far as the Ferry Building goes, since you'll be here two weeks you probably can't avoid it, but you'll find it a puny affair compared with Atwater and especially Jean-Talon markets, and the full farmer's market function is on Saturdays only.
I love L'Express! Here in SF, most of the places I would recommend are outside the Union Square area. Last eve I had a great crab Louis salad and crab roll sandwich at a small very casual restaurant in Sausalito called Fish. It is located in a marina north of the town center. If you were really motivated... you could take the ferry into Sausalito and then a taxi or bus up to the road where Mollie Stone's grocery is located. Fish is in the marina at the end of the street. The other two choices are easier to get to. Tadich Grill on California near the Emarcadero (excelllent 'old school' fish house, crusty male waitors in jackets and crusty sourdough on the side of your cioppino!) Swan Oyster Depot on Polk just north of California (counter service, closes at 4-5pm, run by the Sancimino brothers, mostly raw bar.) Make a trip to the Ferry Plaza builiding! Also, the beer to drink with your crab is the local Anchor Steam on draught. Have fun!
My guess is that very few SF chowhounds will know the restaurants in Montreal you refer to. However, the question of dining in and around Union Square gets asked often on this board. If you do a search for Union Square, you should be able to access a number of prior threads that should be of interest.