Dinner with the family...Help!
My husbands family is coming to town and I am looking for a nice restaurant the request was...not trendy, not loud and good food. These are older folk who are pretty picky. Can anyone suggest something? I don't think price is an issue, but I don't want to offend either. Any neighborhood will do. The menu should be safe but not hotel food. These people are hard to please. I feel like I have to impress here otherwise I wouldn't be such a pain! Thanks!!
jardiniere might fill the bill. modestly trendy, modestly loud. nothing more. food is pretty good. give it a shot.
If you're really fine with a big budget, Boulevard or Gary Danko don't do anything crazy or avant garde, and their servings are ample (I find older folks can be critical of the small serving sizes at trendier places, at least in part because they don't get the tasting menu concept...that said, my husband's 80 year old aunt loved the Fat Duck tasting menu, so the stereotype can be wildly incorrect).
Downstairs at Chez Panisse can be a problem for folks who can't get past the lack of choice, but most people I know of all ages are more than happy upstairs.
My husband's parents (72 and 81 years old and from the UK) have enjoyed Bay Wolf and Fleur de Lys. They also enjoy sitting outside at Dopo, but that's probably too casual for what you have in mind.
If it were me, I'd probably do the Chez Panisse Cafe, but that's my lazy answer to just about anything.
Foreign Cinema has good food and I think would please safe eaters, and I didn't find it noisy when I was there a few weeks ago (though we were outside, that could have helped). I also second the recommendation for Chez Panisse Cafe.
I think some of these recommended places are too trendy or too expensive to take your friend's cautious family to...while we love Boulevard or Gary danko, it's a stretch for people you don't know. I like the suggestion of Bay Wolf, or a middle-range place like Clementine or Chapeau. Or a quiet conservative place like The Richmond. Good luck!
Clementine is a great idea sfbecky! I went there recently for the first time & thought, "wow, nice little place". Nice variety too...beef, poultry, seafood. The warm blue cheese tart appetizer was delicious not to mention the "french toast" dessert. I would go back just for the dessert! Haven't been to Chapeau but heard that is also very good.
Chapeau! might fit the bill nicely. Problem is, you are packed in -- very "bistro-y". Fringale is also a tight space, very moderately priced, and great food. Aziza could also work if you think they would be willing to go for Moroccan food. But my choice would be Piperade. It isn't the very best in its price range, but it is very good, consistent, tables are well spread out, relatively quiet, a feeling of upscale, but still casual. It just seems like one of those restaurants that everyone can always agree on, which it sounds like may be what you are looking for.
I've also heard the new chef at Plumpjack Cafe is doing great things, but I haven't been able to check it out, yet.
I'd second Piperade if downtown/FiDi works for you, and maybe Bacco in Noe Valley for something quiet and a bit out of the way. If you're over in that part of town already that might work.
737 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111