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Birthday Dinner

wissywendt Dec 7, 2006 08:39 PM

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.

  1. m
    megamalone Dec 7, 2006 08:54 PM

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

    1. m
      Maya Dec 7, 2006 08:56 PM

      Boulevard or Aziza.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Maya
        wissywendt Dec 7, 2006 09:08 PM

        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
          Robert Lauriston Dec 7, 2006 09:10 PM

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


          1. re: wissywendt
            Maya Dec 8, 2006 03:57 PM

            TONS of posts on Aziza here.

        2. Paul H Dec 7, 2006 08:59 PM

          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
            wissywendt Dec 7, 2006 09:06 PM

            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
              Robert Lauriston Dec 7, 2006 09:13 PM

              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
                wissywendt Dec 7, 2006 09:37 PM

                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
              wissywendt Dec 7, 2006 09:50 PM

              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. Robert Lauriston Dec 7, 2006 09:04 PM

              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.


              1. w
                whiner Dec 7, 2006 10:18 PM

                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.)

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