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Michael Mina, Boulevard, Quince, Delfina.........

My wife and I will be in your great city for 3 nights celebrating our 25th anniversary. We will be staying at The Four Seasons and plan to have lunch 3 days and dinner 3 nights in your wonderful city. We are trying to decide between Michael Mina, Quince, Gary Danko, Rubicon and Aqua for dinner and/or Boulevard, Delfina and Per Bacco for lunch. Any help is kindly appreciated.

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  1. Lots of reports on all of those in the archive. Use the "Search this board" with e.g. title:perbacco to find the most specific topics, or use the Places search.

    1. Robert makes very good suggestions. The SF board members are quite good about using place-links. These provide great jumping-off points for research. For example, here's the Michael Mina place-link:

      http://www.chow.com/places/24021

      the other restaurants can be research the same way. But since I'm already typing this, I'll comment on Michael Mina - I think it is the weakest - in terms of QPR - of the restaurants you have listed. Michael Mina was recently named one of the top ten most overrated restaurants in America by the Opinionated About survey. I agree entirely; you are likely to part with large sums of money for a decidedly mediocre experience.

      1. For what its worth, from your list I would say the my favorites (within the context of what they are) are Boulevard, Quince, and Delfina (though that is 2 Italian restaurants out of three, and you should know Delfina is a more casual place then the others on your list). Rubicon is said to be very good and has a truly awesome wine list. Everyone I know says Mina is overrated.

        Also, FWIW: You say this is your 25th wedding anniversery... I'm not certain exactly what you are looking for, but you should know that, imo, you haven't included any of the most romantic restaurants in the city on your list. Aqua is very much an uber power-lunch destination downtown, I don't know what it is like at dinner, I'm guessing pretty businessy, too, but I don't know... but the food is excellent. Perbacco and Boulevard, at lunch, at least, will also be mostly businessmen. (Of course, when you are talking about nice restaurants that are open for lunch, that is often what you are dealing with... Boulevard at dinner, by the way, can be fairly romantic)

        If you wanted suggestions of really romantic restaurants to go to for dinner I would strongly consider: Fleur de Lys, La Folie, Acquerello, and The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton -- all of which are excellent and I would say specifically romantic restaurants (though La Folie is a bit more casul than the other four). The "word on the street" is that The Dining Room may currently be the best of those four, although my best dining experiences in SF were at Fleur de Lys (disclosure: last time I was there was about 2 years ago). Also, my best friend, who has been to Bouley, Jean Georges, and Le Bernardin in NY just went to Coi with his girlfriend last month and told me it was the best and most romantic meal he has had in the U.S. -- so, again, for what its worth...

        2 Replies
        1. re: whiner

          Gary Danko
          Quince
          Fleur de Lys or The Dining Room at the Ritz or Masa's

          1. re: whiner

            Littleman: Please remember that the only way to become one of the most overrated restaurants is also to be one of the most highly rated. I love MM. The room, the service, the wine list, and the non-straightforward presentation.

            On your list I also love Quince for a jewel box setting and lovely pasta; Delfina for its more casual approach, and Gary Danko for perfect execution of high end food. Most visitors love Aqua, my personal experience is mixed. Evenings at Aqua are a mix of business and society.

          2. Okay, just to make your decision-making a bit more difficult, I'd think of a couple of different things. How about dinner at Ame, Quince, Dining Room at the Ritz, Acquerello or Gary Danko and lunch at Zuni, Perbacco, Boulevard or Delfina. Is Bar Tartine open for lunch? Gets rave reviews though I've not been there. If you were my friends and I were making recommendations, I'd add Ame and Zuni for sure (for dinner and lunch respectively). I agree that Mina is over-rated and though I like some of the items at Aqua, it is quite corporate and I'd go to Ame over Aqua any (and every) day! Enjoy your visit - congrats on your anniversary!

            1. If this were my anniversary, these would be my choices (all alphabetical):

              Dinner:
              Coi
              Dining Room at the Ritz
              Quince

              Dinner Alternates:
              Ame
              Acquerello
              Gary Danko
              Masa's

              Lunch
              Boulevard
              Sushi Ran or Fish. (Sausalito - take the Ferry)
              Zuni

              Have a good time!