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Aug 26, 2007 05:23 AM

Chicago hound in town for Labor Day

Wondering if anyone can recommend a few spots for light lunches in the Union Square area. Also open to weekend brunch. Basically, I need lunch on Sat., dinner on Sat., perhaps brunch/lunch on Sun, dinner on Sun, and lunch on Mon. before we catch a flight back to Chicago. We are staying either at the Monaco or the Clift..haven't decided yet, but they are both in the same area.
So, dinner recommendations...we can always take a cab. Looking at Terzo, Masa's, Chez Panisse. Wine list, atmosphere, excellent food are all important. Not too heavy...I get enough meat and potatoes! Sharing is good. My mother and aunt will be in tow. They are not fond of asian. Any assistance would be appreciated.

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  1. Discount Chez Panisse for Labor Day weekend -- the Bay Bridge will be closed for the entire weekend and the commute via BART is going to be crowded and lengthy.

    At the Monaco, I am a big fan of their cafe for oysters and other seafood. The bar at the Clift is stunning and is not to be missed.

    Other searches around for Union Square will show you many of the usual recommendations but I'll add kudos to Cafe La Presse and many spots on Belden Place.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Carrie 218

      I disagree with the BART warning. Cross-Bay demand is 40 or 50 percent below normal on a Labor Day weekend in any event, and BART is unlikely to be any more crowded than during a normal commute hour, if that. Sure, he might have to stand for 10-15 minutes (say between DT SF and 12th St. Oakland, but what Chicagoan can't take that? And the BART trip is no more "lengthy" when it's crowded than when it's not.

      1. re: Gary Soup

        In fact, BART will be running longer trains and I think more often that normal for a weekend, so it won't be any worse than a commute, I suspect.Especially if lots of people think like Carrie and therefore don't ride BART. On my daily commute people only have to stand between Powell (where OP would get on the train if staying at the Monaco) and Embarcadero (two stops down). After that seats are always open.

        I'd consider CP if a reservation is possible, keeping in mind they are closed Sunday. I also like the oysters at the Monaco.

    2. After a bit of research, I am thinking...

      Saturday lunch/brunch- Farmers market
      Saturday dinner- Isa/Terzo
      Sunday brunch- Canteen
      Sunday dinner- Bar Tartine/Boulevard/Aziza/Rubicon
      Monday lunch- Plumpjack/Campton Place?

      I know I'm all over the place, but can you help me decide??

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChicagoKat

        Just a few comments: you may not be able to get a reservation at Boulevard for this weekend if you don't have it already. I am not a Rubicon fan, though if the wine list is of prime importance maybe.

        Wny Isa or Terzo? are you specifically looking for small plates? I would go back with your Chez Panisse thought before choosing either of those...(though again, reservations could be an issue).

        1. re: ChicagoKat

          I'm a huge fan of Isa, and I've not been nearly as impressed with Terzo. If it were my choice, it would be Isa hands down. At Isa I always find more to order than I could Terzo the opposite. I would be tempted to slide Boulevard down into the Monday lunch spot. Then for Sunday dinner I would choose between Aziza and Bar Tartine. I've not been to Bar Tartine, but it is definitely high on my list to try. Hope you enjoy your visit!

        2. Sat lunch - Ferry Building Farmers Market
          Sat dinner - Incanto
          Sun lunch - Canteen
          Sun dinner - Aziza
          Mon lunch - ? Tough call. Many places will be closed.

          Incanto and Aziza are both excellent restaurants with balanced menus that are conducive to sharing and showcase California's bounty of produce along with excellent chef technique.

          Boulevard is rather similar to some of the restaurants in Chicago, IMO. Custom House does a similar style of food as Boulevard, but is more interesting and less expensive.

          Not too many positive reports on Campton Place since the chef change last year.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            Spot on perfect itinerary but personally, I would trade Bar Tartine for Aziza. Tough call. Definitely need to keep FBFM, Incanto, and Canteen though.