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Sep 6, 2009 09:41 PM

Special occassion- dinner in or near the financial district.

I'm staying at a hotel (Le Meridien) in the financial district in SF in a few weeks and want to plan a nice dinner with the girlfriend nearby to celebrate.

I've done a bit of googling and have found quite a few places so far:

Bix, Kokkari Estiatorio, boulevard, perbacco, tadich grill, lGitane

Now it's time to get the details and narrow it down. Which of these restaurants, or any other, would you recommend? I asked a few friends and many seem partial to Bix, so I'm leaning towards that at the moment. If you do recommend a place, then tips on what I should order are also appreciated too. thanks!

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  1. All of those restaurants are covered quite extensively on here, so try doing a search for each one to catch up on the reviews. They all have their positives.

    I wouldn't put Bix in the "special occasion" category. It has a lively bar and attracts a big after work crowd and usually has live jazz, food is okay but not memorable or special. Boulevard outclasses the others on your list as a special occasion place.

    1. What about Michael Mina's new restaurant RN74? It's an easy walk from your hotel. They have an amazing wine program, if that's of interest to you. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable. I've wondered how they manage to recruit such smart people.

      1. Also consider Piperade, very good food in an intimate [and by "intimate" I don't mean crowded] setting...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rapini

          thanks, this looks like an interesting one as well

        2. My first thoughts were Perbacco and Boulevard. Tadich is an old-school fish-house, and not very "special occasion" atmosphere. Gitane is a bistro, and I think is a little more casual than you're looking for, and it's also not really a nice walk from your hotel (if that's what you were looking for). Kokkari is an interesting idea.

          The best way to do the research Shane mentioned is to use their places links, where all the discussions where they've been linked or mentioned are collected. The places pages can be found by going up to the "restaurants and bars" tab at the top of the page, choosing "san francisco" and putting the restaurant name in the search box.

          1. Kokkari or Boulevard fit. Perbacco's good but not as romantic. Personally I'd probably choose La Mar because I've been looking for an excuse to go there. Quince will be nearby once they move (supposed to be soon). There's also Zinnia.

            I wouldn't go to Tadich for a special occasion. It's fun but quite casual and they don't take reservations.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Thanks, I will cross Tadich off the list. La Mar sounds great, though the pics of the dining area i've seen make it look too casual for what i'm looking for-

              1. re: nycfan

                La Mar is a little more casual that most of the places on your list. I've been several times, and I've been consistently blown away by the drinks, cebiches, and appetizers while feeling lukewarm about the entrees and entirely uninspired to try any of the desserts. As a result, it's become a place where I stop in for a pre or post dinner snack and/or drink, not a place to spend the entire evening.

                1. re: Pei

                  Thanks, Pei...I may stop by on my second night for appetizers and drinks. Care to weigh in on any other of the choices?

                  1. re: nycfan

                    I don't think you can go wrong at any of those places, though I haven't been to Gitane (very new) or Boulevard (too much debate over whether it's "worth" the money).

                    They really are all great restaurants, in different ways. Any disappointment you have will be because of style rather than because the restaurant didn't do a good job.

                    1. re: Pei

                      seems like a reasonable assessment

                  2. re: Pei

                    I think that's a good assessment of La Mar. It's a beautiful spot, and the drinks and fried potatoes were great. Ceviches were tiny. And other entrees were okay but expensive. More successful as a bar with snacks than a restaurant.