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Need Recommendation - Dining at the Bar

crazylash Dec 11, 2007 12:53 PM

I'm a Boston chowhound staying at a hotel in the Fishermans Wharf area. I'm looking for a good place to dine solo at the bar. Is there anything decent (not a chain restaurant) in this area or should I venture out to another neighborhood? I'm not averse to getting in a cab. All suggestions welcomed.

  1. crazylash Dec 21, 2007 08:55 AM

    Thank you everyone for all of your tips! I ended up going to Perbacco and had a great time. I ordered a wonderful salad with persimmons and pomegranate. It had just the right amount of bitterness with the greens and sweetness with the fruit. It had a nice sharp cheese on top. I also had a half of the pappardelle pasta with braised shortrib. Very simple and quite rich. I've added a SPQR, Myth and a few others to my list to try next month when I'm back in town.

    1 Reply
    1. re: crazylash
      Frosty Melon Dec 30, 2007 08:45 AM

      Thanks for the update on Perbacco. Myth is about to undergo some major changes, chef-wise, so keep that in mind. SPQR is still on my list to try.

    2. s
      sugam Dec 12, 2007 04:41 PM

      I'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet, but Gary Danko is just a few steps away and has great bar seating. We head there once a month or so...and its perfect to get good food in that neighborhood. Hey, and if you havent been out to california before, grab a burger for lunch at In 'N Out!

      1. d
        dschweisguth Dec 12, 2007 09:47 AM

        Go to Piperade. It's a short walk from the Wharf, you can eat at the bar or at a big central shared table, it's generally excellent, and who eats Basque often enough?

        1. c
          Concetta Dec 11, 2007 07:58 PM

          Venture. There's lots to choose from within public transport. Don't know the range of your fancy. Here's what I can think of at the moment:
          Boulevard (great culinary spectator sport - high $ end)
          Tadich - quintessential SF experience
          Perbacco - great Italian right next to Tadich
          Bocadillo's - Basque food
          Tu Lan - Budget Vietnamese
          Slanted Door - Upscale Vietnamese (Ferry Bldg)
          Ti Couz - crepes et al in the Mission

          4 Replies
          1. re: Concetta
            Oakland Barb Dec 11, 2007 08:30 PM

            Only serves wine, but Bar Tartine in the Mission is a great alternative.
            Fantastic food!

            1. re: Oakland Barb
              Frosty Melon Dec 12, 2007 12:21 PM

              I didn't think of this, but this is a good suggestion. Eating at the bar at Bar Tartine is very comfortable.

              1. re: Oakland Barb
                anzu Jan 1, 2008 10:59 PM

                I had the most fantastic solo-dining experience at Bar Tartine after a long day of shopping. I sat at the bar and felt totally comfortable. It was on the late side, and I wasn't too hungry, so I almost went straight home after shopping, but part of me was like, well, you are in the city with all of these dining options. You might as well stay and try one. I don't know why I picked Bar Tartine, but a few reviews on this sight stuck in my mind, and it was on the BART line on the way home. Boy am I glad I decided to check out Bar Tartine. I could borderline gush about their food. I ordered two sides and a dessert. I got the scallops crudo, which were delicious. I forgot what all were on the scallops-- something green, some red chili, with the right amount of salt to counterbalance the chili, which added accents, but didn't overwhelm the scallops. The green stuff was some herb-infused oil, which also complemented the delicate flavor of the scallops really well. Then I had the endive(?) salad with pear. I normally don't like salads that are too strongly flavored in dressing, but this one was divine. Somehow the melange of the buttery pear, the slightly acerbic dressing and creamy cheese on the bitter radicchio. . . gosh, I wish I could replicate that flavor combo. It also had some sort of glazed spiced nuts. I was feeling "full" by the end of that, but couldn't turn down dessert--a chestnut mousse. I asked my server about the dessert, b/c it was the most unusual-sounding of the 4 or 5 choices. She said that it was on the not-sweet side, and not a big portion, which sounded perfect. And she was right on. I normally split desserts, but this was small enough that I cleaned my plate, despite my being "full". As she said, the dessert was very subtly sweet and chestnutty. The buckwheat cake underneath the chestnut mousse was also delish.

                1. re: anzu
                  rworange Jan 2, 2008 08:20 AM


                  Bar Tartine
                  561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

            2. n
              nosh Dec 11, 2007 06:52 PM

              Classic San Francisco: Tadich Grill.

              1. w
                wanderlust21 Dec 11, 2007 06:21 PM

                Pesce on Polk has a nice bar, not too overrun with drinkers. A short cab ride there and one could even walk back to the wharf (it's downhill). The menu is Italian seafood. Hope you enjoy SF.

                Some Pics:

                1. steve h. Dec 11, 2007 05:18 PM

                  this thread may help.

                  1. Chris Rising Dec 11, 2007 02:50 PM

                    Boulevard is a great option. Another would be Luella which is a quick trip up Hyde St from where you are.

                    1. Frosty Melon Dec 11, 2007 01:51 PM

                      I'd hop on the F line streetcar and take it straight to Boulevard.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Frosty Melon
                        Carrie 218 Dec 11, 2007 02:40 PM

                        Boulevard does not serve at the bar anymore.

                        OP, definitely get thee out of Fisherman's Wharf; there is little worthy of any foodie's attention in that neighborhood.

                        As a solo diner who relishes good bar scene dining, I'm a huge fan of S.P.Q.R., Myth, and Incanto (all requiring a cab ride).

                        1. re: Carrie 218
                          Paul H Dec 11, 2007 05:32 PM

                          Boulevard has two "bars." One is the bar serving drinks (where you always used to be able to order food), and the other is a dinner bar set around the cooking stations. I'm sure you can still have dinner at the second "bar." The food is great, and the view is super for a foodie.

                          1. re: Carrie 218
                            winonerd Jan 12, 2008 08:57 PM

                            I had dinner at the bar at Boulevard the Friday before Christmas.

                          2. re: Frosty Melon
                            crazylash Dec 12, 2007 04:40 PM

                            I am a big fan of Boulevard and have been there a few times already so wanted to try something new. I have been to Slanted Door a few times as well and have to say I was not impressed by the new location and scene. We had to wait 45 min for our reserved table and then the food came out way too quickly. We couldn't help but feel rushed out of our seats so they could turn the table. I really liked the former location much better.

                            Lots of great ideas....SPQR, Piperade, Incanto and Perbacco sound interesting. I'm going to check out the other thread that wanderlust21 shared as well. Now to choose! Thanks so much for all of your suggestions.

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