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Anniversary Dinner + Zuni Question

Hi Folks,

We'll be in the city for 2 nights/3 days over labor day weekend. It's our fifth wedding anniversary so we wanted a special dinner. I have made reservations at Michael Mina after deciding that La Folie & Fleur de Lys were to heavy for me this time of year. However, I'm wondering if the dining room at the Ritz is really better than MM - I usually never trust "the nice" hotel restaurants even though i understand that this is a unique case.

Then we have reservations for lunch at Fog City Diner on Saturday because it's nostalgic and good. However, I am open to suggestions.

I'm curious about bar tartine for breakfast because I can't refuse a great pain au chocolat, or would you suggest th farmer's market (& is that the one in Embarcadero)?

So here's the last question: we have dinner reservations for sat night at Zuni, however I on't eat chicken (but hubby does) - should we eat at Quince instead? I've heard rave reviews about Zuni and have always wanted to try it, but I have to say, the pasta at quince looks pretty appetizing.

Don't have anything set up for Sunday yet , we leave around 3 so we would really only have time for brunch & it seems everyone likes Foreign Cinema. There may be a chance that we can stay through Monday. If we can would you suggest we do both Zuni & Quince or something else.

Help!

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  1. Stick with Zuni and don't order the chicken. The place is full of people mostly eating other things.

    Not everyone loves Foreign Cinema, e.g.: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/332911

    Can't beat the Ferry Plaza farmers market for breakfast on Saturday.

    1. Michael Mina is fine for a Sunday, when most restaurants with tasting menus are closed, but if you are going a different day, I think you can do better at the Ritz or even Coi.

      1. Well it looks like the Dining Room at the Ritz is closed that week, so Michael Mina it is.

        1. I'd stick with Zuni as well. The menu, while not huge, is diverse enough that you can avoid chicken.

          While I'll probably get flogged for saying this, I was almost entirely unimpressed with Quince... albeit, the raviolo was fabulous. That one dish couldn't save an otherwise average meal - with an otherwise not average price tag. I still haven't gotten around to writing that review (perhaps out of fear of being attacked by Quince-loyal Chowhounders!).

          Furthermore, I'd definitely skip Coi. As I've posted in the past, it was probably one of (if not the most) disappointing meals I've had in SF. Absolutely not worth it in my book.

          Keep in mind that MM is also a "hotel" restaurant. I think you'll do well at either location, just depends on your taste.

          Also, please note that Bar Tartine and Tartine (the bakery) are not the same place - they have different hours and serve different items. For breakfast, you'd want the bakery - Tartine. :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: jrhsfcm

            If you search the archive you'll find numerous reports from people who had similar experiences at Quince. Even some of its big fans say skip the entrees and eat more pasta.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              We actually did three pastas during that meal - only the raviolo stood out. The other two were under-seasoned and just totally average overall. They weren't "bad," per se... but particularly given the portion sizing and the price, left me cold. As you point out, the entrees are skip-able: we split a rabbit dish that was pretty much laughable.

          2. If you can get into Quince I would choose it over Zuni if you love high end Italian. Their pastas are really special, as is the whole meal. Zuni is much more loose and casual but very good.
            Michael Mina is amazing but Aqua would be another fine choice. Foreign Cinema is my favorite for Sunday brunch.

            4 Replies
            1. re: randeebin

              There have been some very negative reports on Aqua here in the past year.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                ... mostly service and noise related. I tried the tasting menu about 10 months ago and, to my taste, found it far superior to Michael Mina.

                1. re: Paul H

                  "... zero flavor. Everything bland. Same went for the desserts."

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/334500

                  1. re: Paul H

                    I've eaten at Aqua twice relatively recently, and the service and the noise were fine, it was the food that I had a problem with. It was just boring.