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Sep 14, 2008 03:07 PM

Six Nights in San Fran/Berkeley - HELP!!

First time on west coast and desperately need info on SF area dinner spots for 6 nights in mid-October. I've been trolling through Zagat and my mind is getting numb. I think ChezPanisse is an obvious choice for splurging on one of those nights (am I wrong?). What I’m looking for: 1) Price range under $40-$50 each before drinks and tip, 2) Northern Italian at least one night, 3) On the quiet side so dinner conversation can be heard (read: no screaming kids) , and 4) Any cuisine associated to the Bay Area not readily available in the NYC Metro area. Not all 4 in one place, of course, although that would be great.


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  1. Northern Italian: Delfina
    *note*: I prefer A16 (Southern Italian) slightly to Delfina. Also, I hear outrageously good things about La Ciccia (Sardnian) just haven't been ableto get there, yet. But Delfina is terrific, still.

    Afghani: Helmand Palace

    Moroccan: Aziza

    Vietnamese: Slanted Door

    Japanese/Italian/French fusion (more $$$ than you wanted, but unique to Bay Area and worth it): Ame

    1. Chez Panisse -- Definitely a good choice. Reserve now because tables are filled typically a month in advance.

      Other SF options to consider:

      Out-of-the-Way, Quiet Corners:
      1) Canteen on Sutter Street
      2) La Folie on Polk Street -- very cher, but amazing French food. The ambiance is a bit whimsical; the staff is very welcoming; and the food is excellent.
      3) Quince on Octavia -- Everything you've heard is true -- the chef is never off. The meal is always decadent. If you can make it before they move from their Octavia Street location, I'd recommend it, because it has a quiet, romantic vibe.

      Quinessential SF:
      1) Tangine -- BYOB, really inexpensive Morrocan on Polk Street near Pine.
      2) Axum -- Ethopian, mom and pop place on Haight Street
      3) Bar Jules -- Constantly changing menu in a small bistro on Hayes Street

      And if you are planning a day up in Napa -- UBUNTU. Okay, it's a vegetarian restaurant that doubles as a yoga studio, but it was the BEST meal I've had in ages. Each dish was a surprise -- not crazy complex, but melt-in-you-mouth tasty. Try for one of the cozy tables by the window.

      Have a good trip!

      2 Replies
      1. re: NoemieSF

        Thanks, great choices. Did make a res. for ChezPanisee a few nights ago - thanks for the tip.

        1. re: NoemieSF

          Quintessentially San Francisco? Axum has been around for a few years, but Tajine is only a couple of years old and Bar Jules even less. Maybe front-running is quintessentially San Francisco.