Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jan 29, 2008 10:55 PM

Your Graduation Gift to Me (more knowledge)!

I am about to finish my last semster at SF State and need to finally eat at all the places I've been dreaming of! I've made a good dent thus far dining at:
La Folie - So far my favorite
Postrio - Yuck!
Jardinière - Very nice
ACME- Not so much, but the 1997 Dalla Valle I drank with my meal was IN-CRED-IBLE!
Fleur de Lys - Once again very nice EXCELLENT service
Boulevard - Good but nothing special
First Crush- Sure the flights were cute, but the food was lacking
Perbacco - Fun,nice, not the best Italian but well prepared and worth the money
Delphina- I'm sorry, it's good... but not that good

Gary Danko
and for my Graduation dinner I have decided on Dining at the Ritz

Now with all that said and done, it should be mentioned that my favorite food is italian, particularly authentic pastas and house cured meats (basically as homemade in Nonna's kitchen as it can get). Where in the city MUST I go before I venture back South where good food is almost obsolete?

Although I love pasta, I am NOT by any means restricted to Italian fare. I love Seafood, French, New name it I'll try it!

My tummy thanks you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Incanto, esp. for the salumi platter.

    1. Aziza - there is nothing like it anywhere else in the country. While you will find exceptional haute Italian and great pasta all over the world, very few chefs are taking Moroccan spices and bringing them to such a different, elegant level as Mourad Lahlou.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218

        I was thinking of Aziza as well - as for an upper end place, I'd suggest Ame.

        1. re: Carrie 218

          Aziza is not THAT great. Several times my experience has been barely mediocre. If you go with limited expectations, it's fine, but nothing knock-your-socks off. And the space is tacky.

          If you want an amazing experience, go to Quince. Hands-down best pastas, anda very elegant overall experience.

          1. re: mbaldauf

            That is one place I have been DYING to go to! I heard they also have an incredible chef's if I can only get eight people to fly up here and spend some dough :)

            1. re: rachel12

              My friend had her b-day dinner at the chef's table a few months ago, and believe it or not, I did not love it. We didn't get any special attention, much less special dishes, from the chef and our waiter was indifferent. And frankly, it was kind of an ugly utilitarian environment (I know, it's a kitchen, but still!). I much prefer eating in the dining room. So don't worry so much about saving up for this one!

              1. re: mbaldauf

                Thanks for the advise! I will take your word :)

        2. La Ciccia

          When is your graduation dinner? (Ron Siegel is almost definitely for certain buying Myth and leaving the Ritz, but the timing and details are unclear at this point.)

          5 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I know and I am a huge fan and need to experience his food before I leave this City!

            Luckily my Graduation is in May so it is highly doubtful that he'll be able to make all the changes to Myth by that time. If he does, Myth it will be!

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Absolutely ditto on La Ciccia. I doubt if you would find anything like it in the Southern US....

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  hmm...guess I was thrown off track by the reference to good food being almost obsolete (it isn't in LA, in my opinion..NOT that I am saying it isn't good in the Southern US either, but well, I just know it isn't a true statement about LA, I am less familiar with the US South :-)). But I would still ditto La Ciccia (there is good Italian in LA, but I haven't heard of any good Sardinian)...

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    You are correct! And I KNOW we do have good restaurants in LA, they are just so far apart and getting to them is kinda a hassel. The City is so much easier, and like I said my stay here is almost over :(

              1. A16, Aziza, Ame... for great food you won't find in the South,

                3 Replies
                1. re: whiner

                  Is that what's called an "A list?"

                  1. re: whiner

                    More people like Aziza than don't. Not only will you not find anything like that in the South (whichever South that is), you won't find anything like that in the country. I'm a fan. I find there's a boring sameness in the 'fine dining' type of joints. Aziza is one of the few doing something different ... and great cocktails.

                    I like 1550 Hyde quite a bit for California cuisine.

                    Oh, come on ... go to Tadich ... you can't say you've been in the SF area and never had the cioppino there ... sure it is not in the same category as the others ... it marches to its own beat ... and, IMO, the sourdough there beats the bread any other kitchen puts out of any category.

                    Why not go for broke for your graduation and go to French Laundry. I'm not a fan ... I'm more a Chez Panisse type I but I didn't regret having the experience.

                    Or failing that, Manressa. That time of year should be great for showcasing their dishes.

                  2. If you love Italian food, Incanto, SPQR, and La Ciccia in SF, Oliveto, Dopo, and Pizzaiolo in Oakland.

                    Chez Panisse and Zuni for whatever you want to call that kind of food.