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Jan 7, 2009 07:53 AM

Danko vs Fleur de Lys vs Tommy Toy

My husband and I will be in SF late February and have heard great things about these three restaurants. We were wondering which one was the "must try" of the three. Also any suggestions for a nice, inexpensive meal in Napa or Sonoma would be great.

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  1. Unless you (like me) prefer bad Chinese to good Anglo-European, scratch Tommy Toy's.

    1. I haven't been to Tommy Toy and it's been a long time since I went to FdL, so I will just comment on Sonoma. My favorite restaurant there is Scopa in Healdsburg. Prices are very reasonable and the food is excellent. I reviewed it on this post -

      I also like El Dorado Kitchen in the town of Sonoma itself, but that may be somewhat more pricy. I was there for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful meal with terrific service.

      109 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

      El Dorado Kitchenette
      405 First St. West, Sonoma, CA 95476

      1. Danko and Taylors Refresher.

        1. The word on Danko is that while very good, you can essentially get a similar meal in another city, i.e., it's not special to SF, but it's te best choice of your selection.

          The word on FdL is it has gone hill a bit and you're in for some snooty service.

          TT's...probably okay for a business lunch but nothing special now, perhaps 15 years ago.

          Besides Danko, you might consider other places like The Dining Room at the Ritz Carleton, Michael Mina, Coi, Ame for fine dining.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ML8000

            I'm mystified by your statement about Gary Danko not being "special to SF." What is it about places you mentioned other than GD that enables them to serve meals that you can't get in other cities? Any restaurant can have a counterpart anywhere similar ingredients and a capable and willing chef are available. Asian fusion and molecular gastronomy are not the sole province of San Francisco, not did they originate here.

            1. re: Xiao Yang

              XY, you can take a look at the menu yourself and decide:

              1. re: ML8000

                So, what makes a menu SF-specific? Less choice? I think Gary Danko is very Northern California ingredient, and wine-country influenced.

          2. Since this is your second post asking the same question

            My guess you read somewhere that these are the ultimate dining experiences in this city and no one locally is going to steer to to better choices. In that case ... also looking and your profile and the fact you like cheese ... then go to Gary Danko. They are known for their cheese course.

            You will probably get some more attention on this post by putting the restaurant names in the title with most of us rolling our eyes at Tommy Toy. I can't think of one person on the board or that I've known personally who actually would want to go to Tommy Toy. Wherever that suggestion came from, it was not good advice. If it was a gudebook, burn it. Also discard advice about breakfast at Sears Fine foods.

            Since you are new to the board, it would be to your benefit to read this post about how to better get better responses to queries

            Some places that are moderately priced in Sononoma County: El Dorado Kitchenette, the girl and the fig, Sunflower Cafe, Boon Fly Cafe, If you follow this link, you will find the Place records which have websites and reports.

            In Napa County there is Ubuntu (definately a differnt experience than anything in New Orleans), Berbersq (in a shopping center), the restaurants at Oxbow Market, Bounty Hunter, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Tra Vigne.

            Replace the word Sonoma with Napa in the above search to find place records on these restaurants.

            6 Replies
            1. re: rworange

              Sorry- not a pro at Chowhound. Just wanted some different opinions of where to eat. The reason for the same post is that my husband and I have different opinions of where to eat and kinda wanted more detailed info on these. We will def. NOT go to Tommy Toy now. Thanks for helping

              1. re: chowdosta

                >>> We will def. NOT go to Tommy Toy

                Well, good ... I feel better ;-)

                What are the differences. Who wants what?

                If someone is looking for upscale Asian there are other choices in SF.

                Also,what do you consider price-wise as inexpensive? There are a few Wine Country options a notch higher that might qualify and a few a notch lower if what was mentioned is too pricy (between $10 - $20 for an entree).

                The girl and the fig (who have some nice cheese) has a weekly three course blue plate special that might be a good choice.

                1. re: rworange

                  not looking for upscale asian necessarily, just had someone mention TT to us- maybe i should reconsider their friendship now if it's that terrible ;)
                  i guess when i say "inexpensive" i mean casual more so than price. We are going to several upscale/white tablecloth places while we are in town and just wanted a more informal meal while in wine country. Someone mentioned Bistro Jeanty- that looks good from their website. I need a good dinner spot close to Healdsburg.

                  1. re: chowdosta

                    TT has a BEAUTIFUL, quiet space. Would be great for a business lunch. (Avoid the seafood soup with puff pastry -- looks great but we didn't like it.) We loved the steak dish and the lobster dish. But, the miserable (old guy) waiter we had was the worst I've had. One of our group asked what kind of melon was in the shrimp dish she wanted to order. He said "melon-- don't you know what melon is"? She ordered it, anyway, and I think it was Honeydew -- guess he didn't know names of various melon types. If it had not been a special birthday celebration for me, I would have walked out because of his attitude.
                    (This was a few years ago, maybe he isn't even there any more but I've never been back. I'd return if invited.)

                    1. re: walker

                      But wouild you choose TT over the other two, especially if you didn't live here?

                      1. re: rworange

                        No, just also pointing out some of the good, as well as bad, of TT. It is very quiet and relaxing, good for business people with hectic schedules. The other two are quiet places, too.