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Oct 18, 2009 11:04 PM

Need feedback on Piperade, Canteen, RNM, Pesce, Mission Beach Cafe, Bar Tartine

I am looking to do dinner in SF this Tuesday evening. I have reservations at Piperade, and am wanting to try the special squid ink dish that is served Tuesdays, but have heard so many differing accounts of the food and service there that I am considering making a change. Any feedback on Piperade would be greatly appreciated!

I am considering Canteen as well, or Pesce for small plate venetian cuisine, or the new RNM and Mission Beach Cafe. Bar Tartine is also on my list to try, but have also heard some things since chef has changed. Any feedback is appreciated!

Many thanks!

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  1. Highly recommend rnm. A great value for what you get - especially if you get the earlybird (5:30-7) $28 prix-fixe.

    And if you do go, I strongly recommend ordering red meat - that seems to be what they do best.

    2 Replies
    1. re: vulber

      The OP mentions "the new RNM". Might that actually be RN74?

      As for RNM proper in the Lower Haight, the meal I had there several years ago was surprisingly good.

    2. Piperade is a fine restaurant. I cannot imagine you would not enjoy dinner there. It is run by an owner-chef who is passionate about his work.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Paul H

        Totally agree with Paul H. A fine restaurant with a warm ambience. Be sure to try one of their specialty cocktails.

      2. I've eaten at Canteen recently and thoroughly enjoyed the meal. The service is very punctual though, so if you like to dawdle after a meal this might not be the place for you.

        I was one fo those who had bad service at Piperade but it's been two years already since I was there. Hopefully it's better. That said, the food was very good.

        10 Replies
        1. re: gerbera

          Another note on Canteen (which FWIW I never miss when we visit) is that on Tuesday, they do a prix fixe at only 6 and 8 pm.

          1. re: grayelf

            Prix Fixe is not every tuesday. I have a reservation next week, they told me there's no "special dinner" that night.

            1. re: saeyedoc

              I was at Canteen on Thursday and it was prix fixe only. They did not mention it on the phone when my boyfriend made the reservation, so you might want to call ahead and ask if having menu options is important to you.

              1. re: potato or yam

                Good to know -- the website says Tues prix fixe only and though we've been several times on other nights, we've always been able to order a la carte. We have a reso for Thurs Nov 5 which I'd better check is not the prix fixe...

              2. re: saeyedoc

                At Canteen, "special dinner" and the Tuesday prix fixe are two different things. Generally Tuesday's are prix fixe but without a theme - just whatever looks good to the chef that evening. His special dinners have a theme (corn and lobster, game night, etc.), are prix fixe and usually take place on a night other than Tuesday (at least all the theme dinners I have been to there). The dates are known in advance and usually book very quickly. I would be very surprised if your Tuesday dinner isn't a prix fixe. You might want to call and make sure.

                1. re: meggie t

                  I specifically asked when they asked what time I wanted the reservation. I know there are fixed seatings on prix fixe night. Their exact words were "there is no special dinner that night". I have a 7:30 reservation.

                  1. re: saeyedoc

                    There are fixed seatings every night at Canteen, not just on prix fixe nights. As meggie t said, special dinners and prix fixe nights aren't the same. Their website says that Tuesday nights are prix fixe, and I've never heard of a Tuesday not being prix fixe, so I would call to confirm this with them so that you are not surprised.

                    1. re: JasmineG

                      Very strange. I spoke to them last night (Canteen) and they told me it was prix fixe and my reservation is at 8. What's weird is when I initially made the reservation, I was quite aware of the Tuesday night situation and was surprised when they told me there was "no special dinner" that night and gave me a 7:30 reservation ( put it immediately in my iphone). I guess when they realized the mistake, they just put me in at the 8pm seating. Glad I double-checked.

                      1. re: saeyedoc

                        I am glad you double checked! Enjoy your dinner.

                    2. re: saeyedoc

                      Well, then maybe they are changing things up! FYI, there are fixed seatings every night (6, 7:30 and 9:15, unless a theme night where there might only be 2 seatings). Enjoy!

            2. Thank you for the feedback on Canteen. Not sure I want a price fix due to lack of flexibility on choice, but thank you for making me aware!

              I did make an error and meant to write RN74, Mina's new place, although just read they lost their Michelin star due to inconsistency.

              Any feedback on Bar Tartine as well? Range is also up there since they just retained their Michelin star.

              After all this, I am tempted to just try Flour + Water for pizza and pasta!

              5 Replies
              1. re: ddeblasi

                Michael Mina lost a Michelin star. RN74 just opened late last year and had never been Michelin reviewed (perhaps was for the 2010 guide). Reports I've heard about RN74 are that the food is wildly inconsistent, some night it can be fabulous and others not so good. This is all second hand from folks who have gone.

                1. re: ddeblasi

                  RN74 isn't the place that lost a Michelin star, it's Michael Mina that did. I love Bar Tartine, but I haven't been since the new chef has been in place. I enjoyed my meal at Flour + Water, here's a recent post talking about it -- I probably wouldn't go if you don't have a reservation.

                  1. re: ddeblasi

                    Well, RN74 is a separate location a number of blocks away from the Michael Mina restaurant. The downgrade to 1 star at the "flagship" won't have much, if any, impact at RN74.

                    1. re: Eugene Park

                      rn74 serves delicious food, but isn't the same great value as the others mentioned

                      1. re: vulber

                        From the one time I dined there for lunch, I'd agree that the food is fine but not cheap. Where value can be found at RN74 is tucked away in the wine list (some good stuff with minimal markups are available) and especially with the changing Specials board where the final bottle or even glasses of certain selections are marked down. There have been confirmed reports of the occasional 1 cent offering popping up on the board (which quickly gets ordered and extinguished).

                  2. Stop second-guessing yourself. Go to Piperade. Get the squid ink dish you want. Enjoy!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I agree, go to Piperade. I've always had excellent food and service there.