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Oct 18, 2007 01:29 PM

NY Foodie on Business in San Fran

I am coming into San Francisco on business and will be dining on a Monday evening with clients. The group is young and very wine/food savy. We are going to have a full day of meetings and are looking for someplace special- with sophisticated ambience (not stuffy), interesting cuisine, great service, American or continental cuisine. We are staying at the Hotel Vitale. Price is not a major issue. I tried Quince but they are booked and have heard mixed reviews about The Boulevard. Michael Mina seems too formal. I would love to try Bar Tartine but they are closed on Mondays. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    1. Check out Ame - not sure if the cuisine is exactly what you are after, but it is excellent (and open on Mondays!).

      1. The "usual suspects" for this type of inquiry usually include Gary Danko and The Dining Room at the Ritz.

        2 Replies
        1. re: zorrosf

          I'm a big fan of Boulevard and Ame. Dining Room at the Ritz is exquisite, but is stuffy for SF, especially if you think Michael Mina would be too formal.

          1. re: sfoperalover

            Yeah, maybe I don't go to enough business dinners, I don't think either GD or the Ritz, which are primarily places where you go for the tasting menu, are really the best choices for business dinners. Not only that, but I'm guessing that Monday you're not going to have the "A" team in the kitchen.

            Boulevard, on the other hand, is definitely a "go to" place for this kind of occasion.

        2. As a NY transplant of less than 3 years, I take nearly everyone visiting from NY to Slanted Door. Food is terrific, views of bridge great and sits in the Ferry Building. This place is long-term hip, no attitude at all and overall a real gem. It is Vietnamese food made with local and seasonal ingredients and is very approachable for the novice. The side orders of vegetables are always interesting, unique and delicious.

          If your clients are local to SF, they will likely want to go to Perbacco, a new Italian place with lots of buzz, that is right in FiDi next to Aqua. Food is very good, and good environment for a client dinner that will not be too stuffy.

          Do not believe mixed reviews about Boulevard. The place is terrific and a perfect place for a client dinner. It has been around for a while, and though the menu keeps up, I think there is some fatigue among local food snobs. You can not go wrong with a dinner at Boulevard.

          If Bar Tartine would have been an option, then you won't mind heading to the same neighborhood for Range. The food is consistently excellent, the service competent and friendly, and the environment sophisticated but casual. It illustrates the best of living in SF. It may not be special enough for clients, but you might want to consider for another meal.

          2 Replies
          1. re: DCarbonaro

            DCarbonaro has it spot on.

            I'd add that the Americano bar in the Hotel Vitale would be a great place for a pre or post-dinner drink, especially since you'll be sleeping there. It is a very swank bar with a good-looking, successful crowd and a nice outdoor seating area.

            1. re: DCarbonaro

              I would second the recommendations for Slanted Door and Perbacco. Both places have good food and a fun vibe. If your clients are young and hip, they'll enjoy these places. While I also love Boulevard, it has more of a "special occasion" feel to it, and the service is more formal (though not stuffy). Slanted Door and Perbacco have a more bustling scene, with very active bar areas, so you wouldn't feel uncomfortable rolling up your sleeves and relaxing.

              I wouldn't take clients to the Mission unless I knew them quite well and felt they would enjoy the scene there. While many of my favorite restaurants are there (Delfina, Range, Bar Tartine, to name a few) it's definitely more funky and edgy out there. Plus, it's not nearly as convenient as the other restaurants. Boulevard would be incredibly convenient since it's across the street from your hotel.

            2. Thanks so much for all of your great insider recs and advice. I only have one night as we are getting up early the next morning to head to Napa- so I am going to try Pieprade-my father is Basque so it is perfect! Will have a beverage- or two - at Americano as well! Definitely have the others on my list for my next visit- cross your fingers I close the deal so I can come back! Please let me know if you are coming to NYC and I will be happy to share my favorites!

              1 Reply
              1. re: acenyc

                If you are heading to Piperade (which is great, you should have no worries), drop into Frisson for a drink before. Very cool space. Or the Bubble Lounge, which is a champagne bar. Both have a loungey feel, Frisson is hip and Bubble Lounge has the feel of Starbuck 1994, with lots of couches and slow moving people sipping champagne rather than coffee.

                Both are on the way to Piperade.