Foreign Cinema or Delfina?
Comparing the two seems a bit odd to me. They're really (really) different.
If you want a "scene" complete with cocktails etc and food is of less importance - then Foreign Cinema should work.
If you want food and wine in a "setting" and you can get by without cocktails or full bar - then I'd suggest Delfina.
But it's kind of an apples to porkchops comparison.
The food at Delfina is outstanding. The "vibe" is fun but the service and decor is very simple (as is the food - you might even call it "rustic" although it is as I said outstanding). Foreign Cinema is a cool place with good cocktails and you will have fun there, but the food is only pretty good. Delfina has the feel of a neighborhood restaurant but the quality of food is good enough that people come from all over the bay area to eat there. Foreign Cinema has the feel of an exciting destination restaurant/lounge but the food, while good, is not particularly memorable.
Neither is a bad choice; if it was me I would pick Delfina, especially for a small group.
I'm kind of shocked you all pick Delfina. In my experience, Delfina doesn't take it all the way. Originally from NY, myself, I wouldn't recommend Delfina solely on the basis that it is Italian food. If you want to eat Italian food, you're so better off in the NY. Deflina not only often runs out of specials; I just think that overall the place is overhyped. And don't even get me started on their pizzeria next door. Talk about not being able to follow through.
On the other hand, Foreign Cinema definitely has a vibe going.
If you want great cocktails, fun, awesome atmosphere, and great GREAT local and organic menus, Foreign Cinema is the place.
It is definitely more signature San Francisco.
That's where I would go...
Upcoming Square One Vodka & Summer BBQ August 20
chilled smoked corn soup
blue shrimp and tomato terrine
blanco, lime, agave, fleur de sel
seared skate wing
ham hock and corn hash, sungold cherry tomato nage, chantrel mushroom
tropic of cancer
blanco, curried corn nectar, grapefruit, giner
grilled aged rib eye
summer ratatouille, corn ricotta gnocchi, olive and sage brown butter
reposado, tomato, lime, vermouth agave, chili
corn tomato truffle
ancho and black salt
In the End
tomato, balsamic, agave ice cream
anejo, fino, sherry, cream, huitlacoche foam
It's almost like Foreign Cinema is the old Mission and Delfina is the new? Delfina is getting more the buzz since the owner just won a James Beard award. But I would say both offers different things. FC is more stylish in my opinion and Delfina is more fancy casual? Maybe you should go with where you can get a reservation since both are fairly popular and good.
Well, Delfina would be my choice between the two, because the food is just plain better and I like the scene better as well, but it doesn't have a full bar. If that's a requirement, you'd have to go to Foreign Cinema. Beretta does have a full bar, but it doesn't compare in the quality of the food or the experience to Delfina.
What Civil Bear said. It's nothing concrete that you could see from photos or reading a menu, just a general feeling that Delfina is more SF, tastes better, has a more fun vibe, and in general is somewhere I'd go to again and again whereas Foreign Cinema is not.
But Foreign Cinema does have its devotees (mostly for brunch).