Upscale in SF (But Not Too!)
I will be taking a friend and his wife to dinner when I stay with them this summer at their home in Mill Valley. Will want to take them to a nice place. They are not particularly fancy people but obviously I want to spend a little $$. Perhaps upscale Italian or Mexican, if there is such an animal nearby? Or just a great place for a steak, maybe?
You titled the thread "in SF", but then said "Mill Valley", which is across the bridge.
In SF, for medium-priced, I'd go to The House, which is Asian fusion but very approachable--no MG, no weird flavors.
Another choice is Canteen, which is very good. It's like a small diner that happens to do fine dining. Location is close to the Tenderloin, so it can be a little dodgy at night; just go straight back toward Union Square and you should be okay.
A higher-end spot would be Boulevard, down next to the Ferry Building. Excellent lamb t-bone, always good seafood and poultry.
817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
1230 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
Where exactly do you want to take them for dinner? Near their home in Mill Valley or are you planning to drive into SF with them?
Could you define not exactly fancy? If their taste runs toward Olive Garden or Outback Steak not fancy, that would be a different rec than someone who just enjoys small local restaurants. What type of restaurants or food have you enjoyed with them in the past?
If you are going into SF, Zuni might be a good choice.