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Bouchon or Ad Hoc?

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Booked a reservation at both for middle of October, but have heard that the crowd at Bouchon can feel boring and monied. Is there a big difference in atmosphere? Food? We're coming from NYC and don't want to be in too stuffy of a setting. Recommendations?

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  1. You might want to look at the places link for those two places and read the recent threads with comments about them at the bottom. Bouchon in particular has gotten some very negative reports recently.

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    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      thanks! will do.

    2. My husband and I tried to get last minute reservations to Ad Hoc Monday night when I received an e-mail with Monday night's menu (fried chicken). We arrived at the restaurant around 6:30pm and waited 30 minutes for two seats to open up at the bar. We really enjoyed eating at the bar and would highly recommend the bar for couples.

      We did the full meal, but next time, we'd probably pass on dessert unless it's something we really loved. Our tab after wine, coffee, tax and tip came to $210. Totally worth it, though, as we had a BLAST chatting with various guests at the bar.

      We spent quite some time speaking with the author of Thomas Keller's cookbooks (French Laundry and now Ad Hoc). We didn't get to meet him, but we got a very close-up look at Thomas and his wife, Shelly, when they came by to say hello to the author. The Kellers were hosting a dinner that night for executives from Williams-Sonoma and All-Clad.

      Later that evening, we met the owner of Bistro Don Giovanni who came to eat salad and fried chicken when he sat next to my husband at the bar. Really charming gentleman who shared with us all his favorite places to eat in S/F!

      We also met a nice couple from Buffalo and a very friendly couple from Cananda. My husband is a huge "people-watcher" who has never met a stranger, so he really enjoyed meeting such diverse people while I pretty much focused on the amazing food all night long.