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Last Hurrah in San Francisco?

Amuse Bouches Apr 27, 2007 05:18 PM

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.

  1. k
    kalyse May 3, 2007 08:31 AM

    Something i would highly highly recommend is Bushi-Tei. Very nice, pretty setting, but it's a small restaurant and not too loud at all. The food was DELICIOUS and the service is great and the owner and cook are very friendly. And the prices are definitely reasonable. I dont live in san francisco but absolutely loved the restaurant when i went recently. Sent a group of 8 colleagues there last night - these are all people who i would consider big food snobs and they were raving about it afterwards. here's the website:

    www.bushi-tei.com

    please consider it, i think you'll love it!

    1. w
      walker May 3, 2007 01:35 AM

      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.

      1. Amuse Bouches May 2, 2007 06:51 PM

        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
          Scott M May 2, 2007 07:30 PM

          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
            Amuse Bouches May 2, 2007 07:36 PM

            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
              chaddict May 2, 2007 09:36 PM

              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: Amuse Bouches
                Scott M May 3, 2007 10:40 AM

                Did you try Acquerello?

                http://www.acquerello.com/

              2. re: Scott M
                JasmineG May 3, 2007 09:57 AM

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

            2. SanseiDesigns Apr 27, 2007 06:21 PM

              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
                rworange Apr 27, 2007 07:03 PM

                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
                  s
                  sfoperalover Apr 27, 2007 10:09 PM

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

              2. Scott M Apr 27, 2007 06:04 PM

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

                http://www.mythsf.com/

                1. Euonymous Apr 27, 2007 05:44 PM

                  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
                    susancinsf May 2, 2007 08:00 PM

                    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
                      Dave MP May 3, 2007 08:25 AM

                      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

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