Range or Firefly
I realize that these are not the same type of restaurant. Regardless, I have some visitors in town in two weeks and I was hoping to go to both of them while here; but their stay is gonna be one night shorter than I originally thought.
That being said, which would you recommend and why?
Also, it appears that neither restaurant's signature dish, the fried chicken at Firefly, and the coffee-rubbed pork shoulder at Range, appear to be on the menus...any chance they will make in appearance in the next two weeks?
About the Fried Chicken at Firefly, you can call them and ask. They have a "fried chicken email list" that you can sign up for and they notify you when it comes back on the menu. I'm a member of that list and the last night they had the FC was August 25th. Probably won't be back for a while. Love both restaurants but like the coziness of Firefly more.
Range is almost always the answer. I've been there a few times and have never been disappointed.
If your group likes to drink: Range. Because it has cocktails, great cocktails at that.
For that matter, Range gets a big edge for the food, though it is more expensive.
Range! Go to Range! I recently had one of my top SF dining experiences ever there. I expected good food, but was unprepared for damn great food. Better than the last few times I've eaten at Chez Panisse and Delfina. I had a summer squash soup that I was not going to get, it sounded bland and boring - but took the server's advice and experienced the essence of the vegetable and the essence of summer in a bowl.
Shrimp a la nage was exquisite - just-cooked shrimp in a delicate yet intense broth, with bright green herbs, so fresh and alive. Cojo salmon with broccoli rabe - again, sounds pedestrian - was elevated by its depth of flavor. What I loved was how each dish seemed almost casual in its preparation - nothing too fussy - and yet the level of skill and accomplishment it takes to get each element tasting so much itself, while playing together in a little magic tune with the other ingredients - is intense.
Service was great, too. On it, informed, there when we needed them. Professional but not uptight, relaxed but totally focused.
Oh - and the desserts were superlative. Best I had was a peach leaf panna cotta (yes, they steeped the leaves in cream) with a double cherry coulis - a silken slide of barely sweet cream, with a little river of tart/sweet cherry essence pooling into its crevasses-- it haunts me still.