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Birthday Dinner

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I am trying to decide where to take my daughter (31) for a special, really good food-type dinner. Quince; Zuni; Ame; and La Folie are the choices I have been playing with. Who has some ideas here? Thanks.

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  1. I still love Gary Danko and Delfina. I don't care if I'm boring! :-)

    1. Boulevard or Aziza.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Maya

        Tell me about Aziza - I think I may have been there but am not sure of the name. Where I went was a terrific out of the way very true to Tuscan food Italian restaurant - is that it?

        1. re: wissywendt

          No, it's Cal-Moroccan, with no belly dancers.

          http://www.chowhound.com/search/std?x...

          1. re: wissywendt

            TONS of posts on Aziza here.

        2. Those are four very different places both in food style and ambience.

          Quince is a small and elegant neighborhood-like restaurant with fresh ingredients and artful presentation.

          Zuni is a larger flashy American bistro focused more on ingredients than technique.

          La Folie is an upscale classic French restaurant with luxury ingredients and top-notch service.

          Ame is a sleek, modern space in muted black and grey with good service and an interesting Japanese/French menu.

          It depends on what you want ambience/service -wise, and whether your definition of "good food-type dinner" is ingredient or technique driven, and if you are looking for comfort food or something a bit more exotic.

          Personally, given your list, I'd pick Ame, as the best combination of adventure and sophistication.

          Does your daughter live in the Bay Area? Has she lived in other parts of the country? Her expectations and experience may influence the choice.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Paul H

            I was leaning towards Ame. "Good food" means to me solidly great cuisine. Not too inventive, not as much into presentation as high-quality taste. Top ingrediants; not something I could even begin to touch in terms of preparation at home. Does this help?

            1. re: wissywendt

              Ame's pretty inventive.

              Zuni is more like what you describe. Incanto and Delfina are also in that vein. Even more so are Chez Panisse and Oliveto in the East Bay.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                You're right on. Love Chez Panisse and Oliveto. Wanted to venture out. I will look into Incanto and Delfina - thank you so much.

            2. re: Paul H

              She lives in NYC - so, a west-coast vibe would be good by the way. Thanks for your input. Someone else said Quince has inconsistent reviews - do you agree?

            3. My friends and I love Zuni but as you can see from past topics here some people hate it, so I'd hesitate to recommend someone go there for the first time for a birthday celebration.

              Given the mixed reports on Quince, same caveat.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/316088

              1. Of those, I think La Folie is your best bet.

                Ame is pretty cutting-edge as far as inventiveness goes.

                You might also try Fleur de Lys, which is my favorite restaurant in town. More formal than any of those, though. (Though exact same price as La Folie.)