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Suggestions for a quieter restaurant

sumi Oct 26, 2009 06:21 PM

Folks -

A buddy of mine is coming in from Philadelphia. We haven't seen her in quite a long time and about 6 of us have a lot of catching up to do. We'll be getting together next Monday, so that will help somewhat, but several places that I'd like to go to are simply too loud. So help me think of a few places where a) our group will be able to actually hear one another and not shout; b) we won't be rushed in and out; c) has terrific food and nice ambience; d) isn't in the Outer Richmond.

Right now, all I can think is trying to get a corner table at Aziza (although I have to say, in the last couple of recent visits, food has been fine but not mindblowing and it's pretty far out in the Richmond); one of the nooks at Kokkari; ....umm, any more suggestions?

Zuni, A16, Delfina, Bar Tartine - way too loud. Anyone have thoughts on how loud it will be at L'Ardoise or Gitane?


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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: sumi Oct 26, 2009 06:56 PM

    La Folie?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      steve h. RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 26, 2009 07:15 PM

      I'll second La Folie.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        mc2 RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 26, 2009 08:44 PM

        La Folie may be my favorite restaurant in SF, but if you want something less expensive and quiet with good food L'Ardoise is an excellent choice.

        1. re: mc2
          pauliface RE: mc2 Oct 27, 2009 10:46 AM

          mc2 you have good taste!

          I'll fourth La Folie.

          But I live around the corner from L'Ardoise and it's lovely too. Not as quiet as La Folie, but you can hold a conversation there. They certainly won't rush you out.. If I recall, they wait for you to ask the check, just like in actual Franceland.

          Have not been to Fringale in years, but I used to love it.

          Another quiet spot:
          2223 has a room in the back that is quieter than the front area. I think they have a nice oversize square table that would fit six back there (but I'm not 100% sure, worth asking about).

        2. re: Robert Lauriston
          bbulkow RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 26, 2009 10:40 PM

          Speaking of french that starts with F, what about good ol' Fringale?

        3. s
          skwid RE: sumi Oct 26, 2009 10:51 PM

          The Dinning Room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel will fit the bill perfectly. Tables are spaced not too close together. The cieling is really high (so no sound bounce) and there are curtains on the walls to deaden the sound. The food is also very good and you shouldn't be rushed out. If you have a choice get a lobster dish and you will see why Ron Siegel won Iron Chef Lobster on the original Iron Chef show in Japan.

          1. w
            waldrons RE: sumi Oct 27, 2009 02:06 PM

            You could try some smaller restaurants, like Allegro (Jones and Broadway in Russian Hill), Le Charm (SOMA), Fino (624 Post, near Union Square). These are relatively casual and moderately priced, with good food, and atmospheres where you can still hear those at your table.

            House (Grant Ave. in North Beach) is also very good, and shouldn't be too loud.


            1 Reply
            1. re: waldrons
              vis RE: waldrons Oct 27, 2009 03:25 PM

              Not sure where you want to be specifically but I took my parents for a 10-person dinner at Garibaldi's in the Laurel Heights area and it was great. It's not as pricey as La Folie (and definitely does not have the same cache) but it was perfect for us. Very good food, great service and quiet enough for us to have an intimate evening while also being relatively packed the entire time we were there. It's got kind of an upper east side neighborhood cafe kind of feel to it.


            2. w
              whiner RE: sumi Oct 28, 2009 07:35 AM

              Funny, Aziza is what first came to my mind.

              If you are willing to shell out the $$$, I will 5th the La Folie suggestion as excellent and probably your best option.

              Boulevard also comes to mind. Louder, but not too loud, imo.

              Another poster mentioned Fringale -- love it but it is a bit cramped and not too quiet.

              1. d
                DandySF RE: sumi Oct 28, 2009 07:55 AM

                I agree with the recommendation of Le Charm. The food is good, the room is not too loud, the prices are moderate. You might also consider Venticello on Nob Hill, a small Italian place tucked into a residential neighborhood.


                2 Replies
                1. re: DandySF
                  Rapini RE: DandySF Oct 28, 2009 08:52 AM

                  We went to Venticello about a year ago, and the food was awful. aw-ful...nothing about the food served to recommend this restaurant...

                  1. re: DandySF
                    sumi RE: DandySF Oct 29, 2009 06:15 PM

                    Thanks everyone - we're on the same wavelength and all of these are terrific suggestions. Le Charm was on the list and La Folie may be perfect since it's a special occasion and I've yet to try it. Hopefully the reservation situation will be ok given that we've now grown to 7 people. On a side note, had dinner at Gary Danko last night and that wouldn't be a bad choice either (the bar area is deafening though), although curiously, I found the service good and the food solid but not amazing, which was slightly disappointing. Maybe it was an off night.

                    La Folie
                    2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

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