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Last Hurrah in San Francisco?

My darling husband and I are headed up to San Francisco from L.A.for a "babymoon" weekend -- really our last chance to be 100% adults before our lives begin to revolve around a squalling infant. I'm looking for suggestions for a Saturday dinner that will be our last hurrah (we'll still go out to dinner occasionally of course, this is a bit symbolic.) Requirements -- not too noisy, so we can talk to each other, a la carte menu (my stomach is squished and I unfortunately can't eat 3 full courses without having a serious case of heartburn), great food, any cuisine, nice ambience -- we'd really like something that's a "fine dining option". Also, no focus on sushi or other raw fish (for obvious reasons). We loved Piperade last time we were in SF (in 2004) though would prefer something a bit quieter, and also tried Quince, which was only OK, rather than knock our socks off. Any suggestions?

I also have a reservation at the Slanted Door -- should I keep it? Or go for something similar in a more casual vein?

Thanks in advance.

Oh, we're staying in the Financial District, but we're willing to cab.

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  1. My first suggestion would be Aziza. Quiet, romantic, cosy seating, great atmosphere, great food, and a la carte menu.

    Congratulations on the anticipated new arrival!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Euonymous

      I thought of Aziza also, but it really isn't that quiet on Saturday night. I've found it to be as noisy or noisier than Piperade. To maximize quiet, ask for a table in the very back room (it is furthest from the bar). Coziest seating back there as well... They do have lots of space on the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend, according to Open Table. Myth is another good choice that might be fairly noisy on a Saturday, and more likely to be booked up than Aziza.

      Personally, I'd much rather go to Aziza than Slanted Door. As others have said, SD isn't the most comfortable spot...

      1. re: susancinsf

        I third the recommendation for Aziza. I went there on a Saturday night, and the front room was quite noisy. We sat in the back though, and it was much quieter and nice.

        Dave MP

    2. You might consider Myth. Many items on the menu are offered as half orders.

      http://www.mythsf.com/

      1. Slanted Door is oh so noisy, and not the most comfortable for sitting in your current condition.

        You didn't mention a budget. Ame is quite nice (this is Hiro Sone's city sister of Terra in St. Helena). It's located in the St. Regis Hotel. The lobby bar can be quite busy and fun people watching, and valet parking makes it an easy spot. I highly recommend the hotel as well - tres chic and comfortable.

        Acquerello is very nice with the ambiance you seek. The cuisine is wonderful. Myth, as suggested previously is also nice. Service is accommodating and the menu is very interesting. If you want something more classic, but not a bank breaker, Jeanty at Jack's is nice for upscale French bistro cuisine. Their torchon of foie gras is a beautiful presentation. The cassoulet is substantial enough for two. The duck rilletes are delicious. Service is attentive (whether you are pre-theatre or desiring an evening of dining), and the ambiance is cosy and comfortable. It reminds me of the neighborhood, back street bistros in Dijon and Lyon.

        Congratulations and bon appetit!

        2 Replies
        1. re: SanseiDesigns

          If you like Piperade, you'd probably like Boulvard, though I don't know the noise level. Slanted Door, as mentioned, is on the loud-ish side. One place I haven't been to in a while but it still gets good mentions is Chez Spencer
          http://www.chezspencer.net/

          1. re: rworange

            Clementine on Clement near 2nd is a lovely, quiet, romatic spot - wonderful food and service and out of the way.

        2. Thanks for all the suggestions. Unfortunately, some of these recommendations (and our top choices) are already booked solid (we're going in 2 weeks). What are people's takes on Les Amis or the Plumpjack Cafe?

          I think we'll keep our Slanted Door reservation (we're aiming for a bit more formal/quiet on the other night we'll be in town) as it's mother's day, and reservations are proving to be a bit of a pain.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Amuse Bouches

            Sorry to hear about everything being booked. Maybe another to consider is
            Kokkari Estiatorio

            http://www.kokkari.com/

            Haven't been to Plumpjack in a long while. Last I heard it had declined, maybe someone else can give you more recent feedback

            1. re: Scott M

              Thanks for the rec. We're really looking for someplace a bit more formal -- One area in which San Francisco really outpaces L.A. is in "fine dining".

              I read that Plumpjack recently had a chef change, and the menu looks really interesting.

              1. re: Amuse Bouches

                If I were leaving SF tomorrow and had one last meal to remember her by-w/ no raw fish nor set menu-I would go to Zuni and sit upstairs. Others have complained of noise but I didn't have any issues when I went.

                1. re: Scott M

                  I agree with the Kokkari recommendation -- I've loved every meal that I've had there.

              2. I vote for keeping that very hard to obtain res. at Slated Door. It's not as noisy as some restaurants I've been to. I think the food is really excellent and the prices within reason.