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Ideas for 2 for $50 in SF

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My boss gave me a gift certificate (good anywhere) for a holiday dinner. I know it's really not much, so my husband and I are looking for places that have a prix fixe menu of under $30 each. We had a good meal at Daily Grill one night for about $25 each and about the same price at Roy's for lunch one day (excluding wine, tax, and tip)--looking for something similar. We don't necessarily have to go for dinner...could be a lunch, or an early-bird special. Just quality food at off-peak rates. He's not interested in Indian or Sushi, but loves a good steak, chicken, the usual fare. I am a bit more adventurous and like everything, but lean toward healthy/Californian/PanAsian and vegetarian.

Some of our favorite restaurants are Blue Plate, Thai Place II, Little Star Pizza, Osha Thai, 2223 and on the higher end Palio D'Asti, One Market, Boulevard, Ozumo, Scala's, Zuni, etc.

I am sick to death of Columbus Ave and North Beach having entertained too many out-of-towners. (Will not battle Fisherman's Wharf area for same reason.)

Any hidden gems with special menus that aren't posted on their websites? Only know-if-you-go kind of places? I'm open to any and all suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. I heard Chapeau has/had an early bird prix fixe dinner for $25.

    1. What about Chenery Park or Firefly? Firefly's prix fixe is $35.

      1. Bushi Tei has a fabulous brunch deal. $25 prix fixe for a 2 course meal.

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        Bushi-Tei
        1638 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

        1. I'm curious what type of gift certificate is good anywhere. Someone was asking for something similar. Opentable no longer gives gift certificates.

          Have you been to Town's End?

          Have you considered waiting until January when there is the Dine about time promotion?

          2 Replies
          1. re: rworange

            Amex offers them, but i am to use the corporate credit card and expense as "holiday dinner." Great suggestion about Dine About! Thanks!

            1. re: LisaandAnton

              Yes, Amex gift cheques. The cheques are essentially a travelers check and can be used anywhere that will take a travelers check. On the other hand, Amex gift cards are only accepted where the establishment takes Amex cards.

          2. SPQR is open for lunch, and in my opinion is more suited to lunch than dinner. You could each have a glass of wine and split an appetizer trio and a bigger plate and get out for about $50.00 excluding tax and tip.

            1. I LOVE Towns End. Their prix fixe is fabulous. I went about 2 months ago and plan to go there many more times. It's been reliably great over the years.

              Also I noticed Fringale has a $25 prix fixe lunch. It is such a hidden gem their staff didn't even know they had this until I pointed out the menu in their window. (I'm not sure if they still have it)

              Very simple but reliably good (and buttery) is Curbside's prix fixe and you could even get wine within the certificate price range.

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

              Town's End Restaurant & Bakery
              2 Townsend St Ste 2, San Francisco, CA 94107

              Curbside Cafe
              2417 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

              1 Reply
              1. re: gourmandadventurer

                Unfortunately, I just had a pretty disappointing dinner at Town's End. The menu looked interesting and the prices looked even better, but the food missed on almost all counts. Small crab cake was mushy and had no lump crab, the yam/artichoke risotto had too much going on and the rice was a bit too al denti, chicken pot pie had so much sage it rendered it inedible (didn't care for the hard, dense crust either), and the side of mac & cheese was just so-so. I did enjoy the bread sticks though...