San Fran special occasion restaurant?
Hi - my husband and I (from Toronto) are taking a trip to California this summer and spending 3 nights in San Fran. Looking for recs for an interesting special occasion restaurant, and other restaurants not to be missed while in SF.
We are also going to Monterey, Santa Monica, and San Luis Obispo on this trip in case people have recommendations for great restaurants there. Thanks!
Top dollar, money-no-object places that are commonly known:
2. Michael Mina
3. Chez Panisse (in Berkeley across the bridge)
People will add Gary Danko to the list, but my last two meals there have been less than stellar. I haven't been to Jardiniere and Fifth Floor, but I have heard good things.
My current go-to special occasion place is Foreign Cinema or Campton Place. The former has a cool concept - they play black and white films in an outside seating area. There's a rooftop bar next door which is a great place to go to drinks beforehand.
I think Campton Place is the most romantic, intimate dining space that I've been to in the city.
Aqua doesn't get much love here, and people seem to have lost some of their enthusaism for Michael Mina, much as they previously did for Gary Danko.
I see the chef at Campton Place changed again, Srijith Gopinath. "Sardine Confit, Knoll Farm Arugula, Ginger Sorbet and Coffee Crumbs"?
My wife and I very much enjoy the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton for special occasions. The wine list is very extensive, and the sommelier very helpful. The food is inventive, interesting, and wonderfully flavorful. The service is attuned to what one wishes. And the room is lovely, the chairs comfortable, etc.
My Special Occasion list for SF proper would be:
Fleur de Lys (but recent reports are that it has slipped)
Dining Room at the Ritz
Food at Aqua is great, but I think it is too corporate. I've heard very few good reviews of Mina from foodies.
For more moderately expensive, interesting places, I love:
<space for slightly less love>
And I keep on hearing wonderful things about Incanto
I definitely second Gary Danko and Boulevard for a special occasion restaurant and can also recommend Jardiniere (Tracy des Jardin's restaurant). In addition to the number of restaurants already mentioned, other restaurants not to be missed while in SF are Khokkari (new Greek), Eliza's on California (fresh/new Chinese), Capannina (Italian) on Union, Yang Sing (Dim Sum - Rincon Center), Dosa (fusion Indian), Chez Papa ( French - Mint Plaza), Le Mistral Rotisserie and Mijita at the Ferry Building, etc..I could go on and on....