Birthday Celebration Weekend
My best friend and I are coming down from Canada on the weekend of November 7 2008 to celebrate my, gulp, 50th birthday. She is a chef by trade: I write about food and travel, so we are avid food fans. I have travelled to the Bay area on business for years but she has never been, so I want her to have a great experience as well as have a sampling of all the variety of dining options and cuisines available in your wonderful city. We would want to have at least one fine dining experience to officially mark the big B day. Aside from that, we are up for anything and everything. What would you suggest for a 3 day culinary adventure? Thanks!
To me, Incanto is at the top of the can't-miss list for any food-obsessed visitor. I celebrated my 50th birthday there. The food is great and the all-Italian wine list is incredible, service and atmosphere are (as for many of SF's best restaurants) relatively informal.
Some recent best / uniquely SF topics:
What type of place would you like to go for your birthday? We have lots of great restaurants... are you aiming for something more formal (where guys are asked to wear coats) or more casual? Do you want "New American" food? An 8 course tasting menu? 3 courses? What style of cooking do you prefer for it?
And for the rest, what are your general preferences?
Thanks for asking! We love tasting menus - 8 courses would be great. I have had wonderful meals in the "top" places (Michelin Stars, Conde Nast recos etc) in Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, Vegas, New Orleans, Chicago - so I guess I would be looking for the 'best of the best" experience in San Francisco. Formality is fine for one of the evenings. New American is probably the right choice given the locale. And thanks for the response!
I have not been, but 'th word on the street' is that for a many-course option, Coi is 'the' place to go.
My other favorites are:
The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton (very expensive, formal, New CA/French)
La Folie (very expensive, moderately formal, New Provencal French)
Boulevard (Expensive, casual elegant, CA)
Ame (Expensive, Business casual, Japanese/Italian/French fusion)
Laiola (Moderately expensive, trendy casual, Spanish)
A16 (Moderately expensive, trendy casual, Regional Southern Italian)
Delfina (Moderately expensive, trendy casual, Modern Northern Italian)
Perbacco (Moderately Expensive, business casual, Modern Northern Italian)
Aziza (Moderately expensive, country club casual, Modern Moroccan)
What part of Canada? We've had a lot of Canadian visitors recently (that Canadian dollar!) who've reported back on what they've eaten (such nice, polite Canadians!). You might want to try doing a search on this board for "Toronto report" and "Vancouver report" (search then sort for relevance) to see what was great from the perspective of a fellow Canadian.
Any other details about your trip would also help you get better recommendations. Do you want to stay within the city itself? Will you have a car? Where have you gone and what have you enjoyed in the past? Etc. The only obvious must for a weekend visit is the Saturday morning farmers market at the Ferry Building. Even in November!
re: Ruth Lafler
Thanks Ruth. We are from Toronto and since I have not been to San Francisco for anything but business meetings for the past 7 years, I consider myself fresh to the food scene. We are not going to get a car, and are staying near Nob Hill. I will definitely check out the board for reports from my fellow Canucks - great suggestion and thank you. And will put the market on our list of must sees. Thanks again.