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Deciding between Bix and Town Hall for a party of 11 on a Sunday night

vis Aug 26, 2009 03:21 PM

Greetings fellow chowhounds. I'm torn here - I've never been to Town Hall and have done Bix a few times waaayyy back in the day. I hear Town Hall can get loud but is consistenly solid food-wise while we may be sitting near the piano at Bix which i'm not sure is a plus or a minus since i've never been there when the piano is playing. Throwing a little dinner event for parents' 40th anniversary so i'm deciding with them in mind. Appreciate any thoughts.

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  1. JasmineG RE: vis Aug 26, 2009 03:34 PM

    Where will you be sitting at Town Hall? Are you in a private room? It can be pretty noisy there for a large group, and a group of 11 in the main dining room would be tough. However, I'd recommend the food; I was there for dinner recently for the first time in a while, and everything was excellent.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG
      artemis RE: JasmineG Aug 26, 2009 03:39 PM

      i'm going on saturday. what did you order?

      1. re: artemis
        JasmineG RE: artemis Aug 26, 2009 05:08 PM

        The fried chicken is good (I've had it before, and one of my tablemates had it and it was better than last time), but I ordered a seafood etoufee with fried oysters (I don't see it on the online menu, but I'm not sure if that menu is old), and it was really good and flavorful.

      2. re: JasmineG
        mick RE: JasmineG Aug 26, 2009 03:39 PM

        Bix, especially since parents are involved.

        1. re: JasmineG
          vis RE: JasmineG Aug 26, 2009 04:37 PM

          thanks for the reply - i think we're in the main room up against one of the walls on one rectangular table wall - they promised me they wouldn't put us at the communal table but i've never seen the restaurant so i'm not sure where "up against one of the walls" in that restaurant looks like.

          1. re: vis
            CarrieWas218 RE: vis Aug 26, 2009 06:02 PM

            Definitely take Bix. I've had large parties there and the service is not only attentive, but the food is spectacular and a cut above Town Hall.

        2. Paul H RE: vis Aug 26, 2009 05:03 PM

          I think your folks would appreciate Bix over Town Hall. Bix is more formal, with better service, and it serves classic dishes. Town Hall is boisterous, not at all formal, and the food is gussied-up Cajun.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Paul H
            vis RE: Paul H Aug 27, 2009 07:19 AM

            Thanks folks - i'm leaning towards Bix as well...if only they didn't seat me "2 feet from the piano" i'd feel more confident.

            1. re: vis
              CarrieWas218 RE: vis Aug 27, 2009 07:23 AM

              For the size of your group, it makes sense. The whole downstairs is only a few feet from the piano and I have never found it intrusive. Were you to be upstairs, your group would be stretched over several banquettes and would be less cozy for the party.

              1. re: CarrieWas218
                Pei RE: CarrieWas218 Aug 27, 2009 09:27 AM

                On many nights the piano doesn't start up until after 9. I was there with a group of 9 a few weeks ago, and we didn't have any problems talking at the table right next to the piano because we were out of there before 9. If anything, the music would have started up toward the end of our meal.

                The only (very minor) problem I did have with Bix was the lack of lighting. I love the ambiance, but when people under the age of 30 have difficulty reading the menu without holding it up in the air, it's time to splurge on some votive candles.

                1. re: Pei
                  vis RE: Pei Aug 27, 2009 09:38 AM

                  i'm told on Sundays the piano starts up at 7pm. I think we'll be at the same table as yours...w/ the piano playing, you think it would have been obtrusive? Thanks again.

                  1. re: vis
                    Pei RE: vis Aug 27, 2009 09:59 AM

                    I think it would have made conversation pretty difficult, though the music itself wouldn't have been too loud to enjoy.

          2. escargot3 RE: vis Aug 27, 2009 06:09 PM

            Last I ate at Bix was about 2 years ago -- it was exceptional.
            Great drinks as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: escargot3
              CarrieWas218 RE: escargot3 Aug 28, 2009 06:52 AM

              Indeed -- I can't recommend the Sidecar highly enough! It is the ONLY place in town I will order a Sidecar.

              1. re: CarrieWas218
                vis RE: CarrieWas218 Aug 28, 2009 10:25 AM

                you guys have been great! many thanks.

            2. v
              vis RE: vis Aug 31, 2009 03:33 PM

              Thanks everyone for all of your replies and help. I actually pulled a last-minute audible and decided on Garibaldi's on Presidio per advice from a friend i had lunch with on Friday. No offense to either Bix or Town Hall but i could imagine my parents not digging the piano next to them or trying to shout over the hustle and bustle of Town Hall. Garibaldi's fit our speed.

              They were able to seat us and it was an excellent meal and great service as well. I give especially high marks to the lamb dish as well as the filet mignon and the chocolate dessert. Additionally, the chicken pate was nice as well. Great neighborhood spot that I'll be returning to in the future.

              1 Reply
              1. re: vis
                rworange RE: vis Sep 1, 2009 09:46 PM

                Thanks for reporting back. I assume the parents enjoyed it also.

                347 Presidio Ave., San Francisco, CA 94115

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