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Moderate French or Nouveau for Girls Weekend

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One L.A. foodie and two Nor Cal foodies meet up for our annual S.F. girls' weekend, and we love to make the most of our dining dollars in S.F., while still experiencing exquisite chow. We're staying in Embarcadero and will mostly be walking, though we could cab it.

We're looking for some cheaper options, by that I mean no Boulevard, Gary Danko, or basically anything over about $60/person. This group tends to go for shellfish (mussels, clams) in a big way. Also, they're very into French or nouveau. A great dessert menu is a plus.

We have 2 dinners and 3 lunches over the weekend; one lunch will definitely be dim sum, and while we love Yank Sing, would be up for somewhere new.

A little background: We've already done Slanted Door and while the food was a hit, and the Shaking Beef stays with me, I can't shake the image of waiting 45 minutes even with a reservation, so we'd like lesser-known gems. Rose Pistola and another Italian we tried last time (Fillmore, can't recall the name) - not such hits. Plouf was fun last trip.

My thoughts for this trip include Fringale, which I haven't tried, and Delfina.

Thoughts?

Thanks much!

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  1. Great, these are fabulous recommendations! I just checked out the menus and all three look delicious. We'll probably opt for the Rue St Jacques prix fixe which seems like a great deal.
    Thanks very much.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Susanna D.

      Fingale is still excellent, certainly moderate, and in my opinion the food is far superior to that of Rue St. Jacques. If you go, make sure to try the sweetbreads, my current favorite menu item there.

      1. re: Paul H

        Thanks, Paul, Fringale looks great and I know it's received high marks for some time. I'm not sure I'm up to the sweetbreads challenge, but there seem to be loads of other excellent options and the menu looks intriguing.

    2. (adding links) Please report back! We are always interested in the current state of French food in Baghdad by the Bay

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      Clementine Restaurant
      126 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

      Fringale Restaurant
      570 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

      Rue St Jacques
      1098 Jackson, San Francisco, CA 94133

      L'Ardoise
      151 Noe Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

      1. Delfina is always a good call if you can get a reservation, though it certainly isn't French. For moderate (entrees under $25, but not by much) French food, you might want to catch a cab to Chapeau. It's in the Richmond district of SF, but imo it's worth going out of your way. I would personally choose Chapeau over Fringale. Chapeau has great desserts, too. Have also heard good things about L'Ardoise but have not been yet personally. The chef opened the place after several years at Fringale. For another dim sum place you might want to consider Ton Kiang (definitely a cab ride to the Avenues), though be prepared for mediocre service and potentially a long wait -- get there early. The best dim sum is probably in Milbrae, several cities south of SF.

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        Chapeau!
        126 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

        Delfina Restaurant
        3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        Fringale Restaurant
        570 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

        Ton Kiang
        5821 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

        2 Replies
        1. re: pickles210

          Thanks for reminding me of Chapeau -- I now remember going there years ago, and remember really liking both the food and the decor. And, nice to hear it compared with Fringale. Might work great to do Ton Kiang on Sunday when we'll be at the Kabuki Spa.
          Great tips!