The Gift of Dinner in Russian Hill
Hi SF Hounders,
I know it's not even Halloween yet but I've started to brainstorm ideas for holiday gifts. My brother and sister-in-law live in Russian Hill in SF. I thought it would be a nice idea to get them a gift certificate to use at a wonderful restaurant around their neighborhood. They have a 3 month year-old baby and don't get out for date night all that often so I thought this would give them a good excuse.
I'm not very familiar with the dining scene in SF. They like all different types of restaurants: Asian, Italian, Mediterranean, New American, Small Plates etc. I thought it would be nice to choose some place not too far from their house in Russian Hill---probably no more than 15-20 minutes away since they will have to get a babysitter etc.
I want to give them a $50-$75 gift certificate. It is ok if this doesn't cover 100% of the meal but I don't want to send them someplace overly expensive. It should cover at least half.
I need to buy the gift certificate sometime today and am trying to decide between 3 restaurants: Frascati, Hyde Street Bistro, and Amarena.
What restaurant do you think would be the best for a couple in the their early 30's, enjoying a date night away from their 4 month year-old (adorable!) daughter?
In my view, Russian Hill has one *exceptional*, very expensive, restaurant, and then a lot of good ones, but no great ones.
Does it have to be in Russian Hill?
Perbacco is a short cab ride away and that iscurrently my, bar none, favorite moderately (/moderately expensive) priced restaurant in the city. (N. Italian)
If it does have to be in Russian Hill, I second Amaena. That is my favorit local restaurant at the moment. (Also Italian, as it turns out.)
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
Unless they've just moved to the neighborhood or never go out to eat, they probably have a favorite restaurant in the neighborhood. Try to talk to them and figure out what it is without being obvious. Naturally it's the thought that matters, but you don't want to give them a gift certificate to a place that they don't like and have them be gracious on the outside, but thinking on the inside, "damn, with all the good options in Russian Hill, we have to go here?"
Thanks for all these wonderful recommendations. I'm saving this page for future reference since I imagine I will be visiting them over the years, as will my parents.
I sent my parents to Frascati when they were in SF after my niece was born (I was put in charge of making all the reservations so they could concentrate on their new grandchild) and they absolutely loved it. So I might go with that...although some of these other places looks charming and delicious.
1901 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
The list by bobpantzer is exactly representing the best of the neighborhood.I would also include Amarena.A warm cozy,romantic Italian restaurant,owned by Paulo from Italy who offers well priced meals and plenty of charm.
2162 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94109