Gary Danko and then some.....
Visiting in mid October (4 days Russian River Valley and 3 in the city in North Beach).
Danko looks like everything I'm looking for in that special romantic evening (Anniversary) while we're in town. A few questions of those who may know:
Does the 3 course tastings offer a wine pairing as does the 5 course?
It appears that there is no 'wine by the glass' availability here should we not go the tastings menu route...
Of our 3 nites in town (and a moderate budget), dinner appears to be tentatively viewed as being Blue Plate, Incanto and Danko.
If the Danko inquiries are both NO, I may have to look elsewhere as it may be a bit too much on this writer's pocketbook. If so, I'd welcome any substitute 'memorable evening restaurants' (though, none of the marquee hotels please).
Instead of the Danko tasting menu you can pick items from various categories to construct courses. The one thing to know is you don't have to pick one item from different categories. You can pick three, four, five items all from the same section of the menu. I have found the seafood dishes: lobster, scallops, etc to be standout dishes compared to the beef, lamb, duck, etc dishes.
re: Robert Lauriston
In my experience the "tasting" menu is simply the chef's recommended selections and progression of five courses available on the a la carte menu.
To answer the original post, the wine pairings are not always all available by the glass except as part of the tasting progression; however Danko does have a nice list of other options by the glass. When I was last there, I remember them also offering an option of 3 ounce pours, although I don't see that on the list they currently have online. The 3 ounce option is nice especially if you are not a heavy drinker since it allows to have a different wine with each course without drinking too much.
I realize you didn't ask about Blue Plate, and I know it has gotten some favorable mention lately, but it is far, far from being somewhere I'd choose for one of just three nights in the City...
Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131
3218 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109
I'd also choose somewhere besides Blue Plate.
BP is good for what it it...New American with a hipster, Mission, funk edge. The food is solid with some nice twists but it's pricey for what it is and you can get similar food elsewhere but perhaps not the Mission vibe, including style points for naked pierced photos in the rest rooms that are probably the staff. People rave about the meat loaf and it's good but it's not go back good.
For a casual gathering with some friends in that hood or a weekday drive by...perfect place. For destination, no.
wow, I've been to BP at least three times; how did I miss those photos? :-)
The meat loaf is pretty good, but mine is better (isn't that the problem with meatloaf in a restaurant; ie that it is something that could be cooked fairly easily at home?). My favorite dishes at Blue Plate are the grilled romaine and the squid, but I haven't been a long while. These days, if I feel like going somewhere walking distance from home, I am much more likely to either head to Lotus Garden (next door to BP) or to La Ciccia...(which is a destination restaurant IMO, but not necessarily one to choose if Incanto is already on the list).