Please rate my eating itinerary for this weekend
Spending an weekend up in SF this weekend and wanted to know people's thoughts on my restaurant choices:
Friday Dinner: Ritz Carlton Dining Room
Saturday Lunch: Zuni Cafe
Saturday Dinner (late, after a show): Frascati
Sunday Lunch/Brunch: Don't know. Maybe Fog City Diner? Looking for good food, but casual.
I haven't read anything enthusiastic about Fog City Diner. The usual suggestions for brunch are Canteen, Dotties True Blue Cafe, Mama's and Town's End. Maybe try the newly opened Joey & Eddy's. There is a recent post about their opening if you scroll down the board. It's Mother's Day this weekend so the advantage of the first three is they don't take reservations so you might have a better chance there.
Hope you report back. I love the Dining Room and Zuni. Haven't been to Frascati.
re: Robert Lauriston
Brunch ... I'm talking brunch ... not dinner. As much as I love all the places mentioned there is little different in the world of brunch. While I've never been to Canteen and the eggs bennie and corned beef hash are probably stellar as often reported ... well, we are still talking hash and eggs ... like at all these joints. Joey & Eddies is probably going to serve omelets, hash and pancakes like everyone else ... and here's a real guess ... there will be an Italian omelet ... with house-made sausage ... uh, Eddie's nonna's special recipe.
Just another thought. Since they are new and there's lots of hype, they could be good ... could be bad ... who knows.
There's not that much different East-West in terms of breakfast ... except maybe there is usually a Mexican type dish usually on the menus on this coast.
Canteen has a lot of the more ambitious lunch items on its lunch menu as well. I once had shrimp and sole quenelles followed by quail with white beans at 10 AM, because they were there, and I could.
Bar Tartine also has more interesting brunch dishes than most places... I have a hard time not ordering the pork belly, but there are always a couple of dishes that aren't brunch cliches...
The specials and the toast are really the only thing setting it apart from diner food, but the concept of being amazing diner/comfort food goes out the window if it's just average. Limp bacon is a deal killer for me. Juices aren't fresh squeezed. The famous pancakes are just standard okay pancakes, and that estimation would cover their eggs as well. . the last time I went, we found a 2" wet piece of paper in our salad, and when we told our waitress, they came back and explained to us how it got there, but billed us for the salad anyway. The place is filthy beyond any kitsch thing. It's catering to a mostly tourists during the week now, and unless you're already in the area, I don't see much reason to pick it as a destination, especially over somewhere like Mama's.
You can't go wrong at the Dining Room.
Zuni is a fun and crowded place. The roasted chicken (allow 45 mins) is a must. Only one time it was dry. Our server was offered to take it off our bill but we gratefully rejected her offer. She brought us the bill at the end with our deserts taken off! Also, must have are the burger, bellini, and array of oysters. Come early for the oysters otherwise they'll run out (marked by circles on menu).
Only gone to Frascati once before a show. Very good pastas.
Thanks for all the tips. A bunch of changes (due to scheduling, etc):
Saturday Lunch: Same
Saturday Dinner: (early, before show) Cortez
Sunday late lunch: Slanted Door
I'm going to look into some of the brunch choices you guys suggested for Sunday. But had to take the Slanted Door reservation when I saw it. It's going to be a hard choice.
What do people think of Cortez? I've read good things and like the small plate option (we might want a lighter dinner).
Any suggestions on a place for dessert Saturday night, post-show? Somewhere in Civic Center/Union Square, possibly? But can travel...
Just wanted to report back on the weekend. Everything went wonderfully.
At the Ritz Carlton, we did the 8 course "Salt and Pepper" Tasting Menu, with wine pairings. Unfortunately, the overindulgence in wine left me somewhat fuzzy on all of the details of the menu. Suffice it to say, we very much enjoyed it. The Kobe beef w/ glass noodles was a standout. The quail egg and caviar served on top of a vessel emitting cedar smoke was, well, interesting...Service was incredibly attentive. Bread service was my only issue. Uneven and choices were uninteresting.
I have wanted to go to Zuni for a long time. My friend and I both enjoyed the burger (the chicken would have been nice, but we couldn't eat that large a meal). The homemade pickles served w/ the burger were a nice touch.
Cortez for dinner was the least favorite of our meals. That being said, I liked it and would go back. It just wasn't particularly memorable. At the same time, we weren't exactly starving at that point and maybe it would be better to judge on an emptier stomach. The french fries, oddly enough, were excellent.
Slanted Door was, well, what one would expect. We ordered the spring rolls, shaking beef and stir-fried rice noodles. While everything was wonderful, the noodles were the surprising hit of the meal. Incredibly savory and flavorful. I was surprised.
So, thank you for all the tips and comments. I definitely have a lot more places to try, based on your postings.
Thanks for reorting back. I have to agree on the bread at the Ritz. Not that it is bad, just not up to the rest of the meal ... then again I'm bored with most bread at Bay Area restaurants.
Made me chuckle about the cedar smoke. I'll be happy when this trend in dining passes ... the whle involve all your senses in unusal ways and think out side the plate thing.
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
The Terrace at the Ritz-Carlton
600 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108
550 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102