SF Dinner suggestion (based on atmosphere)
We're having a hard time thinking of a place to eat that fits the mood we're in. I'll try to be specific, but what we're looking for has more to do with the atmosphere than a specific cuisine.
What's a good place in the city that fits the following, on a typical weekend night?
--not loud. It doesn't have to be silent; a little energy or personality is fine. But not a hopping bar or place pumping loud music.
--cozy/intimate. it doesn't have to be dripping with romance, or overdecorated. Just more on the quaint or homey or rustic side than on the modern or dramatic side.
--we want to dawdle over dinner. This means being able to converse, but also means that the cuisine itself and/or the nature of the seating allows one to take ones time. This could mean small plates or mutli-course meal or even a tea service, but doesn't have to--it could just be that the seating is comfortable and the vibe mellow.
--affordable. The median entree in the high teens? Maybe a little more, if necessary.
--cuisine could be most anything, but not: Italian or Asian, which we've had a lot recently. By not Asian, I mean not a straight-up Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. Fusing elements of any of those with anything else is fine. I guess the vibe I'm describing screams "bistro" or "brasserie," but it doesn't have to be French, necessarily. Could be, or could be Moroccan, Indian, Spanish, American, Swedish....whatever
--most neighborhoods are fine. If this place were sort of a "neighborhood gem," that'd be great.
Jeanty at Jack's may be the kind of place you're looking for, though the entrees come in in the mid-twenties rather than the high teens. Otherwise, it seems to fit your description.
Despite a recent blah Chronicle review, I really like this place. The roasted marrow bones with bordelaise first course I tried last time was amazing.
A few ideas:
Woodward's Garden (front room is much nicer but in higher demand than the back)
You might also spend a little more in a bar of a high-end restaurant--Campton Place will let you linger in the bar, as will Coi.
The other issue is timing; often on a weekend, it pays to go early or late to avoid being rushed. Or go on Sunday. One of the best (and most relaxed) meals I've had at Delfina was at 9:30 on a Sunday.