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If you cant get in at Gary Danko, whats next?

traveler4ever Jul 15, 2009 11:47 AM

if Gary Danko is booked for a 30th anniversary, what would you suggest? Michael Mina, 5th fl??


  1. Paul H Jul 15, 2009 10:34 PM

    Here is an updated list of fine dining in the San Francisco Bay Area, segmented by tier:

    Restaurants at the very top include:
    The French Laundry, Manresa, Cyrus, Coi, and The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton

    Next tier:
    Michael Mina, Aqua, Masa's, Gary Danko, Meadowood

    Final tier:
    Quince, La Folie, Fleur de Lys, Ame, Acquerello

    4 Replies
    1. re: Paul H
      Robert Lauriston Jul 16, 2009 11:42 AM

      That's a pretty Francophillic selection.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Paul H Jul 16, 2009 01:36 PM

        True. "Fine Dining" tends to be classic French technique or based on it. But there's also Italian and Asian and "Modern American" in the list. What "Fine Dining" establishments do you think have been left out (besides CP, but we'll have to agree to disagree there)?

        The OP was obviously looking for a "Fine Dining" experience (30th anniversary) so I don't think they are looking for a place like Incanto or Range.

        1. re: Paul H
          Robert Lauriston Jul 17, 2009 08:42 AM

          It wasn't obvious to me what the original poster was looking for. "Fine dining" in the sense of fancy linens and china, a high ratio of front-of-the-house staff to covers, and many small portions of camera-ready food?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Ruth Lafler Jul 17, 2009 10:03 AM

            Well, since the only indication of what kind of dining experience the original poster gave was the names of three restaurants that fit that description, I think it was a reasonable assumption that was the kind of restaurant he was looking for.

    2. Paul H Jul 15, 2009 07:39 PM

      This thread from a few months ago should give you a pretty good overview of high-end dining in San Francisco


      If you have any questions leave them here, as this is a more contemporary thread.

      1. PorktoPurslane Jul 15, 2009 07:03 PM

        Range - lacks the pretension of Danko/Mina, but has wonderful food.

        There's also Manresa.

        I also adore a good picnic and a bottle of wine for an anniversary...

        Manresa Restaurant
        320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

        842 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

        1. spinn1 Jul 15, 2009 03:07 PM

          Gary Danko's to me, was mediocre. I had a better time at Spruce and Ame.

          1 Reply
          1. re: spinn1
            kloh Jul 15, 2009 03:56 PM

            Ame was tasty, though a friend who went wasnt so thrilled. We came to the conclusion that if you stick to the raw fish and such, it's great, but their cooked entrees aren't as fabulous.

            Also, depending on what kind of food you like, Ame might not be so appealing.

          2. CarrieWas218 Jul 15, 2009 03:03 PM

            There are a dozen restaurants I would go to in the city before Gary Danko and Michael Mina (both have had less than stellar reviews from me).

            Current special occasion choices would include Aqua or Fleur de Lys.

            Fleur De Lys
            777 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94109

            252 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

            1. Ruth Lafler Jul 15, 2009 02:37 PM

              Didn't I read recently that Fifth Floor was going through yet another chef change?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2009 02:40 PM

                Yeah, reportedly Laurent Manrique is leaving this month and they're switching to a less upscale, more informal style.

              2. k
                kloh Jul 15, 2009 02:19 PM

                I'd vote for Michael Mina over Gary Danko, unless you've got some reason for picking the latter. (That being said, I've never been to Fifth Floor)

                I've been to Gary Danko twice, it was great one time, mediocre the second. I've been to Michael Mina three times, and it's been great every time (Though you're more likely to get seated next to tourists in shorts).

                Have you considered La Folie?

                1. Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2009 12:19 PM

                  Which aspect(s) of Gary Danko made it your first choice? General style of cooking, particular dishes, service, quality of cheese course, location?

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