New Yorker Solo on a Monday Night and More
New Yorker eating my way through SF in serial visits, with a few questions:
1) Dinner for two after Golden Gate Park - perhaps Aziza, but if not there (might not be my companion's style) - is Pizzetta 211 really that great? is Sutro's any good?
2) Which of the following for a solo diner on a monday night - Aziza (the most intriguing to me, though Moroccan is nothing new), Ame, Range, Foreign Cinema, La Ciccia, Oliveto (never been to Oakland), PIzzaiolo, or Michael Mina? Is Hayes St Grill a hidden gem (see my tastes below)? I'll probably be coming from the Embarcadero and will probably prefer a more casual (quieter?)/cheaper place, but will dress up/pay more if the food's worth it. Also don't usually eat much pizza/pasta (that isn't whole wheat), but will go for really great stuff.
3) If you could only go to one for lunch - Tadich Grill or Swan Oyster Depot?
4) Is Dottie's worth the wait?
By way of background:
Love Zuni and Chez Panisse Cafe
Been wowed by Gary Danko and The Dining Room (prefer the casual vibe at the former), slightly less so at Coi (sampling from both menus in the lounge)
Really like the food/vibe at Greens and outside at Hog Island
Have had more fun at the bar at SPQR than the one at Delfina, even if it's food may be better at the latter
Find Canteen (food good, not amazing) to be good-trendy, but Nopa as well as maybe Slanted Door (food only ok) bad-trendy
Enjoyed Boulette's a lot; found Mama's a bit of a waste of time
Regarding Pizaetta 211, they make very good and very unusual pizzas. Their pizzas with eggs cooked on top are just delicious. But because of it's size and limited menu it might not be the best choice for a destination meal. There are only about 15 seats inside the tiny space and a few more little tables outside. The outside tables can be lovely in good weather, but not so nice when the fog rolls in.
The menu features about 5 pizzas, a salad, cheeseplate, and a cheese salad (the salad with portions of the cheeses of the day) and a daily appetizer special. Usually about two desserts. They have a small, ever changing selection of wines by the glass which are usually quite good plus beer and coffee.
There are no reservations so you may have to wait outside (you can have a glass of wine while waiting) and service is very spartan and casual. If they are busy they may tell you to get your own water and flatware. Also remember it's cash only.
I love Pizzetta when I am in a relaxed mood and can stop in at a non-busy time, but many people do not enjoy the waits and the crowded atmosphere.
Aziza on the other hand is a grand dining experience. Lovely, luxurious room, great service and a delicious unique menu.
If you are willing to come to Oakland I would recommend Dopo on Piedmont Avenue. Dopo is italian food and they cure their own Salami's which are fantastic. The pizza is very good as is the rest of their menu. You could also go to Commis which is a few blocks away but is more formal foodwise (but not settingwise).
Note that Dopo is closed Sunday and Commis is closed Monday and Tuesday
4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
If you love Zuni and Chez Panisse Cafe (which are in my top five), my first recommendation would be Camino in Oakland, which was started by a former Chez Panisse Cafe chef and to my taste is the best restaurant in the area. Some people hate it with a passion, but the same goes for Zuni and Chez P. Open Mondays.
Some solo-dining topics:
3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610