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Sep 9, 2008 05:35 PM

3 dinners in S.F. - are my choices good ones?

I am coming up to S.F. in a couple weeks for 3 days and other than revisiting my favorite city, the reason is just to eat, eat, eat. I am an L.A. 'hound and try to get up there once a year, but it's been at least a year since my last trip and I am dying for my Blue Bottle fix, among other things. :-). Here are my dinner selections:

Friday - Bar Tartine ( I found a vacation rental in Noe Valley, so it will be easier to get to the Mission than it has been on prior visits. I have been wanting to try Bar Tartine forever, as well as Range, but I chose between the two).

Saturday - Boulevard (I have been wanting to go for about 10 years now and my husband has gone on my recommendation many times while there on business.)

Sunday - Delfina (I have been twice, 5 yrs apart, and loved it both times so cannot pass it up again, having tried A16 and Incanto last year on two prior visits instead)

What do you think of these choices? I have not really kept up on new openings, but read a lot about Bar Tartine and Range when planning a visit last year, so wanted to check out at least one this time. Is Bar Tartine still great?

Any reason not to try Boulevard (at last)? And is Delfina as good as I remember it, i.e., no downhill alert?

I'll do a separate post with other eating questions.

Thanks so much.

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  1. Sounds great! Some people on this board love Boulevard, and some hate it, so you may get a variety of opinions there. I adore Bar Tartine, and like Delfina, I'd probably pick A16 or La Ciccia above it for Italian, but I have still had good meals there. I hope you have a great trip!

    1. If you've been waiting ten years to go to Boulevard, than by all means go. Get it out of your system.

      I am one that won't ever bother with the place again, having eaten there half-a-dozen times in the past 18 months and was ALWAYS disappointed. But, as Jasmine said, there are those that love it; I just can't figure out why...

      5 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218

        Just out of curiosity (and of course for future trips), what restaurants do you prefer that are in the same price range as Boulevard? I am still trying to learn as much as I can so that when I visit, I am assured great meals! We have some great restaurants in L.A., but I still prefer those in your city.

        1. re: meganinlosfeliz

          For me, my top five are:


          1. re: Carrie 218

            Funny... you and I agree on Ame and Aziza being wonderful restaurants, so we can't have THAT dissimilar palates... but I think Boulevard is better than Ame and MUCH better than Aziza.

            Still have to hit Coi...

            1. re: whiner

              Whiner, I guess I'm just tired of the "large-hunk-o-protein" with "some-some-o-wilted-vegetable" combination which is so prevalent at Boulevard. I know that is what is 99% of John-Q-Public wants when they go to a restaurant, but with Boulevard, it seems too many are touting that combination in a crowded setting and mediocre service as exemplary. It just bores the heck out of me and on my last few visits, the flavor combinations of said hunks-o-meat/veggies (which I *can* occasionally appreciate) just bordered on mediocrity.

              1. re: Carrie 218

                I wasn't doubting your review... Personally, I have had *excellent* service there both times I went. I have found the flavors subtle, exciting, unique, and with the last bite a good -- or better -- than the first. The atmosphere I love.

                My comment wasn't to disparage yours. Rather, I was saying how strange it is for us both to love certain restaurants -- Ame and Aziza, for example, -- yet have such disperate views on another.

      2. Great choices, however, I prefer Range to Bar Tartine. Delfina is still outstanding and even though some complain that it is not "Italian enough", I disagree -- it is VERY Italian to take local, fresh ingredients and use them in an unobtrusive manner. You can't have a proper insalata Caprese in March.

        1. I would do a16 over delfina any day. While both places are equally hyped, A16 consistently serves excellent food in a great atmosphere in a much nicer neighborhood.

          The 2X I have been to Delfina, just about every dish I ordered was terrible.

          1. I LOVE Boulevard -- my favorite semi-casual restaurant in SF -- and I really really really like Delfina. Awesome choices, both. For your appetier, consider the hazelnut ravioli at Boulevard... one of the two or three best appetizers I've had in SF.

            I've not been to Bar Tartine.

            One comment... as opposed to Delfina or Bar Tartine, since you are staying in the Noe Valley... there is La Ciacca. I haven't been, but all my friends who have absolutely swear by it. Sardinian, supposedly really casual and laid back and old world-y.

            1 Reply
            1. re: whiner

              I wouldn't consider Boulevard "semi-casual" -- by SF standards it's pretty dressy (lots of people dressed in "businesswear"). I also wouldn't consider it in the same price category as Aziza. Dish-for-dish (not comparing dinner there with dinner at a place with a multi-course tasting menu) it's one of the most expensive restaurants in the City. Of course, if someone specifies that Boulevard is in their price range, then almost anywhere else would also fit into their price range.