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Oct 15, 2008 06:46 PM

Looking for a San Francisco equivalent of a Portland American Dining Restaurant


My girlfriend and I ate at Wildwood restaurant in Portland, Oregon a few years back and really enjoyed it. Myself being not to keen on food, cannot seem to figure out what would be a comparatively good restaurant here in San Francisco.

Wildwood specializes in using pacific northwest ingredients locally, but other than that I can only guess that the type of food is "American" food. It doesn't seem to be French, Italian, or any other European type food. The items on their current menu that come closest to what we ate there a few years back are:

cauliflower gratin, lacinato kale, roasted plums and gypsy peppers

creative growers buttercup squash, golden raisins, baby turnips and brown butter harissa

The restaurant is linked here:

Here are a list of places I've been recommended both by these boards and by friends... I know most are obviously french.

Cortez, Canteen, Acquerello, Michael Mina, La Folie, Jardiniere, Chapeau, South Park Cafe, Clementine, Fleur De Lys, and Masa

Any help is much appreciated,

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  1. How does this menu look to you?

    Fish and Farm
    339 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      thanks for the suggestion. I like the menu at that one and definitely will put that one on the list to consider. However, trying to figure out how casual of a place this is.. I am looking to go beyond the "jeans + dress shirt" attire and not look odd.

    2. The restaurants you listed are wildly different in style, atmosphere and price. What kind of overall experience are you looking for?

      The style of cooking you're looking for is called "California cuisine" in California. Chez Panisse Cafe (not the more formal restaurant downstairs) is the restaurant all the others are modeled on.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Chez Panisse Cafe came to mind for me too, but of course it is in Berkeley, not SF. In San Francisco proper, I'd check out Zuni for what you are looking for; probably closer than most of the places you've listed.

        Zuni Cafe
        1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. re: susancinsf

          I'm not a fan of Zuni. Besides, all anyone ever recommends at Zuni is the chicken, the hamburger/fries, the oysters the caeser salad and the espresso granita -- none of which sound like what the o.p. was looking for.

      2. You might look into NOPA.

        560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

        1. You should check out Boulevard. I think the food there is closest to your examples.


          Wild Rice with Chanterelle Mushrooms & Spring Onions
          Roasted Red Beets with Pecans Foie Gras Sauce, Roasted Duck Jus with Calvados

          Boulevard Restaurant
          1 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105

          2 Replies
          1. re: Paul H

            It's been a few years since my own visit to Portland's Wildwood, but I think the local target is somewhere in between Zuni and Boulevard. Zuni is simpler food and a more casual room; Boulevard offers more detailed preps and a more special occasion atmosphere. Or maybe Jardiniere though I've not been there since the remodel.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              thanks again everyone. I was also told Boulevard by another friend from the city in fact. Thanks Melanie for mentioning that Zuni is simpler, because I'm trying to further narrow down a place that is a bit more upscale as splurging is the theme this time around.