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

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


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

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

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

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: spinn1

              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. 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. 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. 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

                    That's a pretty Francophillic selection.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      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

                        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

                          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.