Universal, Maverick, Delfina, Tartine?
Friends will be here visiting from NYC. In showing them around town (and trying to convince them to move here) was thinking about dinner at either Universal Cafe, Maverick, Delfina or Bar Tartine. Thoughts? Is Delfina slightly stuffy? I've never been.
I haven't been to Universal, but I would say yes to both Delfina and Bar Tartine. Delfina is not stuffy at all, and the food is great, but I think that I like Bar Tartine the best of the three -- I always have excellent food there, and it's a very fun environment. My dinner at Maverick was fine, but not that interesting, and I don't think it would lure a visitor to want to come to stay.
Love them all. Tartine has more "interesting" food. Maverick has great takes on "down home cookin'." Delfina has hearty food. Universal never been.
My vote is Maverick for brunch, Tartine for dinner.
If your limited to the mission, and they are wine lovers, may I also suggest Bar Bambino. Out of the restaurants you mentioned I think Delfina is wonderful.
if the weather is nice and you can get an outside table I recommend Universal either for brunch or early dinner. I really like the space and I think it's a quiet contender because of the out of the way location.
I'd throw Range into the mix and rank them like this:
3. Bar Tartine