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Jan 9, 2008 07:33 PM

"Dine about Town" top lunch spots

Lunch is the best time for me to take advantage of the "Dine About Town" week which is coming up. Can you recommend a place if I only have one chance to go? (Especially interested in a pretty place)



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  1. Michael, I'm actually going to try the DAT lunch in a couple of weeks at Vitrine at the St. Regis. It had an interesting menu and I've been dying to check out the hotel.

    125 3rd St, San Francisco, CA

    6 Replies
    1. re: singleguychef

      Thanks so much for the tip, I'll look into it.


        1. re: baron45

          Had lunch at Vitrine at the St. Regis today. It was good. Not excellent or exceptional, but a nice time. My friend and I took the day off so we could enjoy our lunch and we had a two-hour lunch.

          The DAT prix fixe is a good deal for Vitrine because its $21.95 for three courses (starter, entree and dessert) and when I looked at the regular menu, the typical lunch entrees average about $24. So already, you're getting a good value with the DAT menu.

          What we had:

          Starter was choice of escarole salad or grilled prawn. My friend had the escarole which came with a poached egg on top and some bacon. She liked it. My prawn was just one prawn that was huge, sitting on parsnip puree and parsley sauce. The prawn was simply grilled with salt and it was good. I liked the puree, very smooth and buttery, and the parsley puree was very brilliant in color, very pretty.

          We both had the same entree, which was the bluefin tuna that's seared and served with fennel jus and cooked fennel. This was the main reason both of us chose Vitrine because they get fresh fish daily from the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo every day. It's flown in. So today's special was the bluefin tuna. It was two huge pieces and very fatty, so it was yummy. I thought my friend's piece was seared nicely where the middle was really rear, but my pieces actually looked like it was sitting a bit longer so it wasn't as pink. Still, it was nice.

          For dessert, my friend had the mix of sorbet. I got the butterscotch pudding. I liked my pudding, really nice with a slight coffee undertone.

          Overall, the food was clean, elegant, and I might say predictable. What really added to the experience is the beautiful environment. I love the St. Regis hotel and the Vitrine dining room is very calming and spa-like. The service was excellent, very friendly and not at all stuff. We both ordered a glass of wine and the selection was very wonderful.

          While I didn't jump up and down about the food, it was good and like I said, DAT is a good chance to experience lunch at Vitrine. Normal price would be much more.

            1. re: singleguychef

              Photos look great! How's the wine list @ Vitrine and what Pinot Noir did you order?

              1. re: baron45

                Sorry, but I don't recall the name of the Pinot Noir. I went basically with the recommendation of our server, and whatever was sold by the glass since I just wanted one glass. But like I said, it was very nice and my friend's Chardonnay by the glass, also recommended by the server, was very nice as well. Just judging by what was offered by the glass made me have a lot of confidence in their wine choices.

      1. Campton Place is pretty, if formal, and I enjoyed DAT two years ago there. Haven't been back since there's a new chef.

        1. My friend and I went to Sens on Friday for DAT lunch. She hasn't sent me the pics yet, but the meal was wonderful. We had:

          Squash Soup w/ Pistachio Dukka and Cardamom yogurt
          Salad of Chicories w/ Orange Blossom Honey dressing and Pomegranate Seeds

          Chicken Meatballs w/ Israeli Couscous Roasted Red Peppers and Chickpeas
          Lamb Burger w/ Feta Cheese on Brioche Bun

          Roasted Pear & Buckwheat Clafouti w/ Pear Ice Cream
          Cool Milk Chocolate Cream w/ Chocolate-Almond Salad & Sour Cherry Marmalade

          3 Replies
          1. re: chemchef

            do you know if that's similar to the dinner menu? sound good.

            1. re: Windy

              That's very close to the sample menus posted on the DAT site. In both cases, the all the dishes were from the regular menu. It's a really good deal for lunch, as separately those dishes would have been over $30. Plus, that space is a really nice mixture of cozy and open (with big windows overlooking Justin Herman Plaza).

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I agree on both counts...

                This was our first time participating in DAT, and after reading so many negative comments on this board, I was careful to calculate what the (potential) menu would cost w/o DAT before deciding to go (I came up with the same figure as you, over $30).

                My friend and I had been wanting to try Sens for quite some time now, and we were both very pleased. The space is gorgeous, and made for a very warm and comforting long lunch on Friday when it was cold and blistery outside. The service was pleasant, and did not seem rushed at all, even though they were quite busy when we got there (1pm).

                We enjoyed it so much that we're thinking about going back for DAT dinner. Not sure if the menu's the same, but there were three entree choices for lunch, so either way, it would not be boring.

          2. We headed to Jack Falstaff for lunch and were pleasantly surprised with the service, food, and decor. We had a wonderful Leek Soup, Fried Chicken Breast w/Braised Cabbage & Barley, and finished with Cinnamon Sugar Donuts w/Creme Anglaise and Raspberries.

            The walls were covered with beautiful mint green suede and dark wood accents. We had a very nice lunch experience there.

            1. We went to Roys and Sutros at the Cliff House. Both decent, nice treats for people that don't get to go out to lunch often.
              Roys-appetizer sampler with a rib, a shrimp wonton and a grilled prawn; entree choices , we got mahi mahi, and salmon, then a passionfruit-lilikoi tart for dessert.
              Sutros-butternut squash soup and house salad with pickled onion dressing and watermelon radishes;entree choices Wagyu beef with mustard tarragon sauce over linguine (A light beef stroganoff) and salmon on a bed of polenta with andouille sausage and mussels, dessert was pistachio creme brulee and Fuji apple bread pudding.
              The Roys menu was exactly what is posted on the DAT website, but we had to ask for DAT menus, even though we made reservations through the DAT/ Open Table link. The menu at Sutros was not the same as the website, but had similar offerings. They presented DAT menus alongside the regular ones.