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Any DAT (Dine About Town) Reports?

  • k

I've been thinking about trying the Dine About Town prix fixe meals. Does anyone have any reports back on DAT meals they've had? Where can I get the best bang for the buck? (Great food but much cheaper than usual, place with a lot of selection in their prix fixe, etc.)

Dine About Town:
http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

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  1. Silly me. I see it's only Jan. 15-31 this year instead of the whole month.

    I still look forward to seeing your reports.

    1. I was looking at the Circolo 2009 DAT menu (pdf format)
      http://www.circolosf.com/dine_about_t...

      For lunch you would save $4.05 if selecting the most expensive choice, $2.05 if going for the less expensive choice.

      Difficult to tell about dinner since they don't have the all the dishes on the regular menu opting mostly for the DAT menu ... ceasar salad, salmon and creme brulee. However, given using medium prices, it amounts to free dessert.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        For most places I find the DAT lunch to be a better deal. The offerings aren't that different, and the price differential is huge. Maybe the portions are smaller at lunch, but it's really as much as I should eat anyway.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I just posted a review of Circolo- I went at dinner and noted that the portions were very skimpy- is this the new recession beater?- I cannot imagine lunch being a smaller portion size than dinner.

      2. I'll be trying Sauce, Pres a Vi and Fringale most likely in the upcoming weeks. Anyone been to these before? Can you give me a hint of what to expect?

        2 Replies
        1. re: nicedragonboy

          We just got back a sumptuous DAT lunch at Campton Place.

          Starters :

          Jerusalem Artichoke Soup OR Garden Salad

          Both the wife and I had the garden salad with marinted veggies - bit of a lemony vinegarette dressing, I liked it , the wife - not so much.

          Entrees:

          Arctic char with cauliflower and prawns OR Slow cooked rib with wild mushroom risotto

          Both of these were simply outstanding. The char was cooked perfectly with crisp skin on the outside came with a delicious garlic-y sauce.
          The rib with beef jus was outstanding and melts in one's mouth. The risotto was fabulous - reminded me of Bourdain's recent show about Venice.

          Dessert:

          Key Lime Tart, Coconut Sorbet and Hibiscus
          OR
          Apple Tatin with vanilla ice cream

          Both the wife and I had the same dessert and the tatin tasted like it was flown in from France. I have not eaten tatin of this calibre for a very very long time - years in fact.

          I know I sound like a starstruck teenager at this point. I am usually not that ebullient with praise, but I strongly urge you to give the DAT at Campton Place a shot.

          Also, they don't offer their regular menu at the restaurant during the DAT option. And I confirmed that the menu was not going to change during the 15 day event.

          The bar area seemed to have a different (food) menu altogether, I will check it out some other time.

          Cheers

          -----
          Campton Place
          340 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. re: osho

            Thank you so much! Campton Place was at the top of my list of places to try, so it's great to have a positive report. Oh, and looking at their website their regular three-course prix fixe lunch is $43, so this is basically half price!

        2. I'll be trying Jeanty at Jack's this friday. I also want to try Fish and Farm. (anyone try their mi cuit salmon?)

          1. I'm going to Jeanty's at Jack's today for lunch. Will do a write up when I get back.

            1 Reply
            1. I may go to Aziza as a way of getting one more meal in there before I leave town....reports from previous DAT meals there have been mostly very positive, although I am not sure it is a huge savings.

              However, the one that really intrigues is Namu: three savory courses, and they sound great. crudo, dumplings and stone pot rice!

              http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

              -----
              Aziza
              5800 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121

              1. Just got back from Jeanty at Jack's. Here are my thoughts:

                Tomato soup served w/ puff pastry: Ummm. That was yummy! It looks like a chicken pot pie but there's tomato soup underneath the pastry. The pastry was buttery w/o being salty.

                Grilled flat iron steak w/ frisee salad - The salad looked more like garnishment but it was oh so yummy. There was even walnuts in there! The steak was done just right (not raw and definitely not dry!). Very tender and yummy.

                Chocolate mousse creme brulee - Usually places give you a small ramekin of creme brulee but Jeanty's give you a whopping big dish. It's dark chocolate mousse and not too sweet. Absolutely yummy!

                I had a lemonade that they mixed with fizzy water. That was good too.

                Overall I really really like Jeanty at Jacks! That was a good DAT choice! The portions were enough for me. They did not skimp because it was the DAT menu.

                -----
                Jeanty At Jacks
                615 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                4 Replies
                1. re: asianstamp

                  That does sound delicious, and a real bargain. Did the DAT menu have other choices?

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I think the other alternatives are:

                    Rabbit Terrine
                    Celery root and apple salad - My tablemate had this. It's more like rabbit pate. I heard it was very good.

                    Croque-Monsieur
                    Butter Lettuce salad - SInce I'm not French savvy I had to look this up in Wikipedia. It's a ham and cheese grilled sandwich. Not sure how that turned out because a cursory look at the dining room showed that everyone ordered the steak on the day I went.

                    Crème Caramel - Since the chocolate mousse one is good. I don't doubt that this one is a winner as well.

                    I actually emailed them for a copy of their lunch DAT menu and they emailed the information back to me. This menu is good for the duration of DAT.

                  2. re: asianstamp

                    thanks for the report! sounds like a great menu. was this for lunch or dinner?

                    ETA: just saw you said for lunch. awesome!

                    1. re: asianstamp

                      I happened to have the same items as you.

                      The steak was good not great. It took ages for them to serve it and when it arrived, it was cold. I had to send it back.

                      I have to say overall the food was pretty good and the creme brulee was decadent and a winner for me.

                      They did comp the Ricard though. Very attentive service at the bar.

                    2. I had a really good lunch at ... of all places ... Sutro's at the Cliff House ... no, really
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588289

                      Lunch is the better deal than dinner, almost half of what ordering off the menu would cost. However, the DAT meal is about the price of the entree with dessert and soup or salad free.

                      Nice way to check out the menu since George Morrone took over the kitchen this month.

                      Here's the DAT menu which I imagine could change weekly
                      http://www.cliffhouse.com/holiday/DAT...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rworange

                        like previous years, I still think DAT lunch $22 is a decent deal at One Market, esp. since most entrees themselves are $18-26 (wouldn't eat here otherwise)

                        currently, the choices are:
                        Farmer's Market salad (did not order since sounded uninspired)
                        Golden Lentil Soup with vadouvan, plain yogurt, cilantro and roasted cauliflower (indian inspired) -- pretty good
                        3 entrees:
                        tried the Grilled Trout which was quite tasty and executed perfectly, nice complex but light vinaigrette
                        the Beef Short Ribs also done well, rich sauce, bed of buttery grits and bits of rhubarb
                        third option was Mushroom Pot Pie
                        of the 2 desserts, the blood orange financier was the better one over the apple butter tart
                        financier cake prepared well with some crisper edges and went perfectly with the ice cream

                        overall very corporate feel, but the food is executed well (total for 2 without drinks $56)

                      2. Today, Asia de Cuba at the Clift Hotel- lunch. I had the Lobster Club sandwich on brioche bun with mojito fries, Cuban Opera cake and tea. Companion had the Bento Box with beef spring roll, Pesto Prawns, Somen Noodles in peanut sauce and Cuban Opera Cake. All good food, quick service. Had to ask for the tea (included on DAT menu). Lovely room , I felt under dressed. I had my motorcycle helmet and jacket, so explained my casual attire. The room felt like a New York version of low profile. Unmarked restaurant, cozy and sophisticated space.

                        1. I went to Jeanty at Jack's for lunch today, based on the report above, and was more than satisfied with my experience. Our server explained to us that the items on the DAT menu would be somewhere between tasting menu sized and normal entree sized...I have quite a healthy appetite, and by the end of the three courses, I was beyond stuffed.

                          Bread and butter -- the bread was nothing to write home about, but I thought the butter was really delicious and worth noting.

                          Tomato soup in puff pastry -- Fantastic, fantastic. The portion was smaller than the portions ordered off the normal menu, but I can't imagine needing to have a bowl of soup the size of one's face in additional to having other courses. It was nice to see a restaurant offer a "signature dish" on the DAT menu.

                          Flat-iron steak -- Comes pre-cut; not a huge portion but satisfying. Very tender and very well-seasoned. My friend's comment to me while we ate this -- "I am very happy right now" -- pretty much captures it. I didn't like the salad much though.

                          Chocolate mousse creme brulee -- Quite a large portion. The hard caramel layer was perfect, and I really enjoyed the coldness of the inside and the contrast in flavor and texture between the chocolate mousse and vanilla bean custard.

                          The restaurant itself is also very lovely and charming. I'm surprised there weren't more people there to try the DAT menu. Highly recommended; great value and great food.

                          -----
                          Jeanty At Jacks
                          615 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: betterbeheaven

                            I'm guessing that everyone is putting spelling Jacks as Jack's. Places hates that ... which is why it doesn't get found though there has been a record for this restaurant for quite a while. Sometimes the first word is enough. Searching on
                            Jeanty
                            San Francisco

                            Would have found it. FWIW, Places hates city abbreviations. It should never be SF, only San Francisco ... or even San ... and don't call it Frisco.

                            -----
                            Jeanty At Jacks
                            615 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                          2. First time to 1550 Hyde Cafe and thought it was ok. We saw it on Check Please a long time ago & read many reviews online so was looking forward to the food. Small restaurant, 6 bar seats, dimly lit restaurant. Cork art shaped as flower on ceiling.

                            I had too much coffee & tea before dinner so didn't have much of an appetite though I can still eat.

                            Got there almost 6pm and we were the first customers there on Sun 1/18/09. They are participating in DAT so it might be worth it to try it.

                            Waiter asked us if we wanted Mineral water or Tap. We said Tap. FREE bread (cold) w/ butter after we ordered.

                            Dinner:

                            Hubby got the DAT specials $34.95 that were marked in asterisks. Sardines (reg price $11), Chicken (reg. $21), + Scharffen berger bittersweet chocolate pot de creme w/ Straus whipped cream & shortbread cookies (reg. $8). Sardines I thought were good - served warm, only 4 small pcs w/ some greens. Chicken (just a breast w/ a tiny drumstick) was dry to me (no sauce/gravy), potatoes & cauliflower were few, but decent. chocolate pot de creme - just ok, 2 cookies: boring.

                            He also wanted a glass of white wine $8. He enjoyed it.

                            I got a Chopped Salad w/ balsamic vinaigreet/pancetta/reggiano $9. Pancetta is bacon, but it was cut so tiny I could barely tell it was in there. Oh, I had one, though I couldn't see it. Cheese - just a tiny bit too. Lots of lettuce though.

                            For birthday celebration - candle w/ dessert that you have to pay for.

                            Credit cards taken. Our total before tip was $56.37!

                            One unisex bathroom in the back, near the kitchen.

                            Powell Street cable car stops nearby, otherwise we took bus #27 and walked a bit. Bus #1 also stops nearby.

                            -----
                            1550 Hyde
                            1550 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hhc

                              I like 1550 Hyde a lot. However, it is one of the restaurants that I wouldn't recommend anyone going out of their way for DAT because they have a three course prix-fixe normally that is less expensive than DAT. It seems they took that option off the menu during the DAT promotion though.

                            2. We took the chance to eat at Epic Roadhouse, a place i would never try and was impressed. It seemed that 75% of lunch was DAT. The menu was out in front and offered 4 choices of main after a rather acidic tomato-minestrone soup. My table of for tried 3. The sword fish was excellent, moist and well prepared. The barbequed pork was tasty but the slaw was heavy on the vinegar.
                              Beans with sausage and duck was a surprise as I avoid beans but really enjoyed these. This was followed by Vanilla milk and cookies. All in all anice lunch at a place whose prices are normally more than i am willing to pay. i would give the bar menu a try. A beautiful space tho.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: budnball

                                link

                                -----
                                Epic Roasthouse
                                369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

                              2. Went to Aziza tonight. I have been looking forward to trying this place for a long time and DAT was a great excuse. My SO lives in the Richmond so it's in walking distance and I am sorry that we haven't visited before.

                                It was great, in every aspect, service, food, nice wine list, ambiance.

                                It was a little difficult to get a reservation on OpenTable, we wanted to go on the weekend but it was booked. So we settled on an early 6:15 table tonight (Wed). We were seated in the intimate and very comfortable back room which has only 8 tables and cushy banquettes.

                                The DAT menu offers several choices in each category of appetizers, entrees and dessert. It is a subset of the regular menu. The higher priced entrees on the regular menu were not available. Unfortunately the rabbit and the duck were not on the DAT menu. Still there were many nice choices.

                                We had the spreads with flatbreads and the lamb sausage for appetizers.
                                Mains were quail with bread salad and the couscous with chicken, prawns and lamb.

                                Everything was plated beautifully and just declicious. I haven't eaten there before so I cannot comment on portion size versus the regular menu. But we very very satifisfied and we are hearty eaters.
                                There were 3 dessert choices. We had the honey mousse and the chocolate cannoli.
                                I liked the mousse because it was very light after the filling meal. The chocalate cannoli was nice with a scoop dark chocolate gelato and a cannoli filled with chocolate cream.

                                My descriptions do no really do justice to the presentations, they were all beautiful and very detailed with many elements on every plate.

                                Overall savings were not that great over ordering a la carte, maybe about $8 - 10. But it was a great way to sample this restaurant.

                                1. On Monday we had DAT for lunch & dinner.

                                  Lunch was at Sutro's, and as others have mentioned, it was an elegant and excellent meal for just $22. For appetizers the soup was better than the butter lettuce salad, but both were enjoyable. Both the fried oyster sandwich & the skirt steak received kudos, and the portions were quite generous. Desserts were satisfactory, and everyone left feeling sated and happy. I had the $12 wine pairing which proved to be a nice match. Service was very gracious and friendly, which was a great touch to the lovely atmosphere created by the food, room, and view.

                                  Dinner at Fringale (posted separately) was also fine though not as stellar as the Sutro's meal. The osso bucco was a letdown, but otherwise it was worth a DAT trip as well.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: PekoePeony

                                    Darn, They must have added the wine pairing. It wasn't at Sutro's when I went.

                                    -----
                                    Sutro's at The Cliff House
                                    1090 Point Lobos Ave., San Francisco, CA 94121

                                    1. re: rworange

                                      Hey Everyone! Following my amazing food journey last January I am permanently moving to the Bay Area. I'm going to be in the city for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and would like to try a place each day.

                                      I'm not familiar with many of the restaurants on the list. I'll check out Campton Place, maybe Foreign Cinema, what else is on the top of people's lists?

                                      1. re: uvahustla

                                        I remember your great reports from last year. Welcome back. Try out Aziza if you haven't yet. You won't be disappointed.

                                        1. re: uvahustla

                                          Welcome back!

                                          A lot of places don't have DAT on Friday and Saturday (and might be closed Sunday), so I would start with what's available on those nights and work backwards.

                                          Amazingly, Sutro's sounds like a great place to go and IIRC the DAT is good on the weekends. Maybe a Sunday lunch (when you can enjoy the view during daylight hours) might be a good idea.

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            This is why it is always good to report. Thanks to your terrific report, it gives a feel for what type of food you like
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/480537

                                            Given the restaurants you selected on that trip and liked (Aziza wasn't one), I'd say few of the DAT restaurants are in that category. Campton Place looks like it might be up there.

                                            If you are just doing a selection of DAT restaurants to save money, be careful as often DAT is the same price as ordering off the menu and you have limited choices. And some restaurants do scaled down DAT menus with dishes that don't appear on the regular menu. For a few years there you could count on some places offering soup/salad, salmon, creme brulee.

                                            The official site for Dine About Town is not opentable. As opentable says, there are some DAT restaurants that are not opentable participants. Here's the official site
                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            The good thing is that the official site has many of the sample menus. Sometimes they don't match up, but often the do. Here's an example.
                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            Foreign Cinema doesn't list their DAT menu there or on their website. However, given that their entrees are mainly in the $18 - $22 range, Soup is $6.50, and dessert $6. That's not much savings. There is no guarantee that they are not offering a scaled down menu. It seems to be a better choice for when you move here instead of going out of your way.

                                            Sutro's, especially at lunch, is quite the deal and it offers a premier of how George Morrone (Aqua / Fifth Floor) may transform that restaurant. It isn't there yet or in the class of most of the places on your last trip, but better I'll bet than many of the current DAT entrees, a deal and a good choice, IMO. I continue to be amazed I'm saying this about any restaurant at the Cliff House.

                                            1. re: rworange

                                              Good suggestions all. You can always try asking the restaurant to fax or email the DAT menu to you. I continue to think that lunch is a much better deal for DAT than dinner.

                                          2. re: uvahustla

                                            I was looking at a few places i'd like to try and maybe you can use some of this ... actually you probably should put Bong Su on the to-try list. Some reports have been that it is a better choice than Slanted Door

                                            Bong Su – They have a special DAT menu which looks decent. Lunch is the better value since if you selected the least expensive items a la carte it would run you about $34. For dinner the lowest price options would be 36
                                            Lunch: Monday - Friday
                                            Dinner: Monday - Sunday
                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            Destino Destino is serving items off their regular menu which would run 40.50 for all the most expensive selections and for the lowest 34.50
                                            Dinner: Monday - Sunday
                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            Epic Roasthouse While i'm not a fan of the chef and the reports are mixed, I still want to check out the view. i've been meaning to try out the weekend brunch but the hash isn't the best selection in terms of value while the Chicken Salad would be.
                                            Lunch: Monday - Sunday
                                            http://www.epicroasthousesf.com/pdf/m...
                                            http://www.epicroasthousesf.com/pdf/m...

                                            Fish & Farm There's a bit of a savings here, maybe a free dessert
                                            Dinner: Monday - Saturday
                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            Hornblower – maybe not greatness, but in past years Chowhounds enjoyed it it and it is way less than what hornblower usually charges for a lunch or dinner cruise
                                            Lunch: Monday - Sunday
                                            Dinner: Monday - Sunday

                                            Joe DiMaggio’s doesn’t have prices on their website, so hard to say. No steak or chops on the DAT menu, but it looks decent
                                            Dinner: Sunday - Thursday
                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            LarkCreekSteak Actually their regular prix fixe dinner is a buck cheaper, but the DAT dinner is more generous ... a NY strip steak is involved. There were positive reports in previous years.
                                            Lunch: Monday - Sunday
                                            Dinner: Monday - Sunday
                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            South food + wine bar There's a bit of a savings here, maybe free dessert. Interesting DAT menu ... licorice sundae. I've wanted to try this joint with the Australian chef.
                                            Lunch: Monday - Friday
                                            Dinner: Monday - Saturday
                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            Acme chop house has had good reviews in past years, but there is no DAT menu.

                                            There's a bunch more I didn't look at because they don't interest me in the least. Some others I was considering but rejected.

                                            Absinthe – no real deal over ordering a la carte

                                            Anchor & Hope – if the DAT menu is accurate, they did a special menu using cheap stuff that I wouldn’t want to eat. Too bad, A & H. DAT isn’t only about bringing people in for one meal in a slow month. It is the opportunity to cultivate future customers by getting them in the door. You are still on my to-try list. I’ll get to you … someday … maybe.

                                            Chez Papa had and interesting looking DAT menu, however their regular 3 course lunch prix fixe is $21.95 and the regular prix-fixe dinner is actually less expensive than DAT at $31.94

                                            Maya has a new chef and I was thinking of trying it out, but their normal lunch and dinner prix-fixe is less expensive than DAT. It doesn't look like they changed the menu much, if at all. The DAT menu I had at Maya many years ago soured me permanently for Maya.

                                            1. re: rworange

                                              ACME's sample DAT menu is in their website (www.acmechophouse.com) lower right hand corner, click on "View lunch or dinner menu", a PDF will pop up. They give you 2 choices for each course. The DAT menu changes daily (they appear to use a combination of regular menu items and daily specials). For example, yesterday the DAT lunch offered 2 different salad choices for starters. I got the beet salad. For entrees they offered a choice of risotto with pork tenderloin or artic char over a bed of lentils. That exact same artic char dish was also their "Market Fish" special at $22 alone. The fish was delicious! (Probably a smaller portion, don't know for sure) For dessert I liked the apple fritters. The food is well prepared and service is very friendly.

                                              Both lunch and dinner DAT menus seem to be a VERY good value considering how expensive they are (ie. flat iron steak is $26, ribeye is $48).

                                              -----
                                              Acme Chop House
                                              24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                          3. re: rworange

                                            Yes, last weekend was the first time Sutro's offered the wine pairing with their DAT lunch. It wasn't innovative (a Mondavi Fume Blanc for the 1st course, and a choice of cab or chardonnay -- don't remember which ones -- for the 2nd) but made for a pleasant accompaniment to the meal.

                                            1. re: PekoePeony

                                              Yeah, I just noticed the wine pairing are on the menu. The second course wine pairings were William Hill 2005 Chardonnay Napa Valley, or Bon Anno 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.

                                              They really need to do something about that wine list in general if they want to put the restaurant really on the map. For the most part, it isn't bad, it just isn't very interesting.

                                        2. my friends and i had a very nice dinner at Sauce. Their DAT menu provided a very good sampling of what their full menu offered. Giving 3-4 options for each course. At our table we tried the tater tots, portobello fries and sliders, sesame shrimp & seared ahi tuna, Mac`N`Cheese:
                                          Hand Rolled Parpadelle
                                          Parmesan Cream &Asparagus
                                          Served with or without Roasted Chicken,
                                          Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf:
                                          Individually Roasted Seasoned Ground Beef Wrapped in
                                          Apple Wood Smoked Bacon with Truffle Whipped Potato
                                          French Green Beans & Mushrooms,
                                          Pan Seared Loch Duart Salmon:
                                          Spinach Tomato & Bacon
                                          Preserved Lemon Beurre Blanc
                                          Balsamic Reduction,
                                          Vegetarian Strudel:
                                          Asparagus, Portobello Mushroom Duxelle, Spinach,
                                          Tomato, Four Cheeses & Herbs Wrapped in Crisp Phyllo
                                          With Roasted Tomato Sauce,
                                          PB&J Pan Seared Sponge Cake Ice Cream Center,
                                          Strawberries & Cream Fresh Strawberries, brown sugar and cream,
                                          Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts Vanilla Bourbon Dipping Sauce.

                                          As you can see, it we covered quite a bit of the menu. Service was very nice, casual, like they treated everyone as if they were a regular. And they welcomed the DAT diners. The seared Ahi was only okay, but I really liked the Sesame Shrimp. My friends concurred. I enjoyed my bacon wrapped meatloaf, though it was a little more tightly packed than I prefer. Still, it was very tasty, and wouldn't mind going back for it. I heard positive reviews of the other dishes. Of the desserts I most enjoyed my PB&J, a slice of layered ice cream cake with a layer of crunchy peanut butter and fruit preserve. A great ending. I tasted my friends donuts, which were good, but similar to what I've had at other places. We were all very full and satisfied and some couldn't finish everything and packed it for home. Not a bad DAT deal.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: nicedragonboy

                                            Made a DAT stop at Luce at the new InterContinental San Francisco Hotel. It wasn't crowded at all and diners consisted primarily of convention attendees in business suits. Reservations aren't necessary.

                                            There were 3 DAT choices for aps, entrees, and desserts. For the first course, I had the Salsify Velute and my dining companion had the wild mushroom risotto (which I liked more).

                                            We had the Flat Iron Steak with Celeriac, Wild Mushroom and Wild Arugula and the Branzino (fish) over Red Quinoa. Both were tasty although the steak and mushrooms came out lukewarm bordering on cold.

                                            For desserts, we had the pot de creme and the yogurt mousse. Service was decent with water filled periodically, although the server never did check in on the meal once we started.

                                            Here's Luce on the DAT website:

                                            http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/tas...

                                            1. re: nicedragonboy

                                              links

                                              -----
                                              Sauce
                                              131 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                              Luce - InterContinental San Francisco Hotel
                                              888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                            2. For DAT, we checked out Luce for lunch. The description about Dominique Crenn drew me in and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. For going with the $21.95 DAT menu you are saving around $10-20. Most of the main courses have a price range of about $14-$22.

                                              Our main courses were a seared Ahi Tuna and "Vietnamese Sandwich". I was impressed at chef Dominique's take on the Bahn Mi sandwich, which was on the menu at the time. Tender and pork belly marinated in sweet flavors inside perfectly baked bread. The Ahi Tuna dish too was delicious.

                                              I don't do too many sweets, but I was impressed by the desserts - a wild berry parfait and catalana was served. All featuring rich and creamy textures beneath their toppings.

                                              I took plenty of photos for those who are interested to see all of the courses and Luce's interior:
                                              http://www.spotsfordates.com/06/2009/...

                                              -----
                                              Luce - InterContinental San Francisco Hotel
                                              888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Lando

                                                Thanks for the report -- Luce was one of the places that intrigued me this go round.

                                              2. Went to E Tutto Qua over on Columbus Ave. Had a very pleasant meal. The DAT menu includes quite a few options to choose from, though it's fairly easy to figure out that some combinations are much better for the DAT deal. Actually a few combinations would have been less expensive ordering off of the regular menu which I found was very reasonable priced. Standouts for me were the Paparadelle al Ragu, Fritto Misto appetizer, Paccheri Golosi, Involtino d’Agnello.

                                                Misses, included the Antipasto Misto, Carpaccio the Polpo (though nicely presented, lost the texture of octopus that i really like, and for me did not go well with the chopped kalamata olives.

                                                Of dessert, the tirimisu and and chocolate lava cake were both decent but the banana tirimisu was the best of the options we tried. Did not get to try the Panna Cotta unfortunately. Though, every thing of the regular dessert menu was about the $5-6 ranges, so I suppose there's no reason not to try everything if you have the stomach for it.

                                                Service was good, but casual and everyone spoke in such a thick italian accent that I joked to my friends that they all must be faking it.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: nicedragonboy

                                                  E Tutto Qua link

                                                  -----
                                                  E Tutto Qua
                                                  270 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                                2. Windy and I marked that last day of the June DAT with dinner at Seasons at the Four Seasons.

                                                  Disclaimer: we love the Four Seasons. We like feeling relaxed and pampered. The restaurant is on the fifth floor (we had a roomy two-top overlooking Market Street), so there's no bustle, the tables are well spaced and it's very quiet -- Windy calls it "the spa." If you don't like that kind of experience, then the food there won't be worth a trip.

                                                  However, we both enjoyed the food enough to recommend it, and given the regular prices, it's a screamin' deal, especially the $20 wine pairing.

                                                  The menu was almost exactly as shown on the website, and as there were two choices for each course, we got one of everything:

                                                  First course:
                                                  Wild rocket greens, fennel, strawberries, marcona almonds, Roaring Forties blue (this was actually a different cheese -- the menu we ordered from said Old Kentucky Tomme -- a bloomy-rind cheese from Capriole goat cheeses )

                                                  or

                                                  Tomato & Saffron Soup, black olive oil, Dungeness crab beignet

                                                  Second course:
                                                  Colorado lamb loin, summer squash and & shelling bean salad, crisp prosciutto, sauce vierge

                                                  or

                                                  Slow cooked Loch Duarte salmon, cured cherry tomatoes, cippolini onions, fregula, sweet corn and basil emulsion

                                                  Third course:

                                                  Vanilla Mousse, caramelized banana, rum caramel, chocolate glaze

                                                  or

                                                  Coconut rice pudding, mango ravioli (actually what was on the plate was a coulis)

                                                  Hits: the salad and the soup were both very good, but the hit of that course was the wine pairing. Windy and I were not thrilled by the listing of a Bighorn Cellars Chardonnay -- who drinks Chardonnay with food these days? But the "Camelback Vineyard," Los Carneros 2007 went amazingly well with the slightly bitter notes from the saffron and black olive oil in the soup. The crab beignet in the soup was delicious, and I love when they bring the soup to the table in a separate vessel (in this case, an enameled cast iron kettel) and pour it around the fried object so it doesn't get soggy. The salad was fine -- good quality ingredients, but nothing special in the conception.

                                                  The other big hit was the salmon -- I'm not crazy about salmon and I thought it was delicious, with the sweet corn-basil emulsion (looked like one of the infamous foams) pulling all the ingredients together into a happy whole. I thought the portion of salmon was quite generous, but there could have been a little more fregula.

                                                  The lamb (three medium-rare medallions) was less successful as a dish -- all the components were good, but they didn't relate to each other well.

                                                  The pairing for this was a Howell Mountain Vineyards Bear & Lion "Old Vine" Zinfandel, Napa Valley, 2005, which was delicious with lots of characteristic Zinfandel fruit up front and a bit of pepper on the back. Lamb and Zinfandel is a classing pairing, IMHO.

                                                  I thought the desserts were the weakest part of the meal. Windy loved the banana dish, which she said reminded her of a banana Mallomar. I'm not a fan of cooked banana, but a couple of less-banana-y bites were pretty good. The coconut rice pudding needed something else -- some toasted coconut, a cookie, something to give it more texture and another flavor element. However, the 2006 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Domaine de Durban, served with it was delicious, with delicate stone fruit aromas and not too much sugar. A three-course wine pairing -- which they happily split for us -- for $20 was a real deal.

                                                  The meal comes with housemade breadsticks (replenished throughout our time at the table, even as we lingered over tea long after dessert -- we could have sat there forever and I think they would have just kept refilling everything on the table) and the check came with two ice cream bonbon lollipops: one strawberry with chocolate coating and one peach sorbet with white chocolate. Sevice is wonderful, and there was no attitude at all toward us splitting the wine pairing and later a pot of tea. The DAT menu was clipped inside the regular dinner menu -- no need to ask for it. Although this was the last night of DAT, our waiter said he thought they were extending it through this week (if you're interested, call first to check).

                                                  http://www.fourseasons.com/sanfrancis...

                                                  -----
                                                  Seasons Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel
                                                  757 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    I probably ate more than my share of fregola.

                                                    It's no surprise the Four Seasons understands service; and that alone makes the bar or restaurant worth a visit. Still, I never expected the food to be so good, especially the salmon.

                                                  2. Luce-lunch. Ultra-unimpressed! Definitely won't be back. I started with the salad (literally, some basic greens, not so great olive oil and fresh cranberries...no flavor at all), then a basic Vietnamese sandwich (much better at a Vietnamese restaurant, but at least the bread was toasted and this was definitely the better of the two choices for the DAT)) and then the flan. Flan was okay. My tablemates got the seared ahi. They claimed it didn't taste fresh and was overcooked; it didn't look at all appealing. Possibly their other food items that aren't on DAT are better, but I won't be back to try them.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: sfcitygal

                                                      How sad! Too many restaurants are missing the chance to impress people so they'll want to come back and pay full price. It's really a stupid waste of what should primarily be a marketing opportunity -- as the saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression."

                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                        Yes, the one detail Ruth left off the description of our dinner was that I talked her into adding a steak tartare appetizer. (Which was fine, although it looked like the tuna tartare appetizer, which didn't thrill me. Brioche toast points were delectable, as was baby cilantro.)

                                                        And then we happily added another glass of wine and a pot of tea. I wish I'd asked for another glass of the zin. Once we were at Seasons, we were so pleased with everything, we kept ordering. And it still cost less than last week's disappointing meal at ad hoc.

                                                        DAT was a great value, but now that I know how much I like the food at Seasons, I'd return for dinner (maybe not four courses) at regular prices for a splurge.

                                                        1. re: Windy

                                                          Yeah, the tartare had too much stuff in it -- I prefer that the capers, onions, etc., be served on the side. The toast points were amazing, though.

                                                      2. re: sfcitygal

                                                        Did they charge 21.95 for Luce DAT? They have the menu special all year for $20.09. I wouldn't go to Luce or most of the places for DAT. Imho, I think Sutro's, One Market, Spruce, Campton is the best bang for buck lunch DAT.

                                                        My blog post for One Market http://cocochanelella.blogspot.com/20...

                                                        I also went to Sutro's and the value is fantastic and delicious too now that they have a new chef. I hope they participate in Jan's DAT

                                                        1. re: sfcitygal

                                                          We had the DAT dinner there last week and also had a very disappointing experience. We were intrigued with their regular and set menu but figured we would try DAT first and go back if it's any good. Unfortunately we won't be back to try the squid ink carbonara. First we had to ask for the DAT menu after we sat down and there was a bit of attitude handling us the menu. There were two choices for appetizer and main course. I had the green salad served on a longish slate tiles like plate, interesting looking but very ordinarily tasting. My husband had the white asparagus veloute, it could have been campbell mushroom soup with a few pieces of white asparagus on top and it would have tasted better. For main course, I had the pan seared halibut with spring greens, the halibut was a bit overcooked but had a nice crust, it wasn't particularly fresh either. The weird part was the small lonely octopus on the plate, perhaps to give an exotic nature to the dish but it was rather odd looking. The worse though was the texture, felt as if I was eating tofu, it was freaky. My husband had some kind of beef stew, tender and rich but nothing special. Dessert was some very forgettable chocolate mousse. They gave us couple chocolate truffles with our coffee, but at the next table they brought out a cigarette box filled with different chocolates for them to pick their own. I guess budget diners like us don't know how to pick our own chocolate.

                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                              She's replying to a post about DAT at Luce.