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Nov 2, 2009 06:25 PM

coming to San Fran with an artsy/writer and her husband and us canadian chowhounds

My husband and I have been to San Fran before but either have had our kids with us or commuted in from San Ramon - so haven't got to explore the dining scene as much as we liked. Last trip in June did go to Laiola and while we waited an hour for our table - we did have a reservation - the food was quite good and they comped us free round of drinks and the delicious chickpea croquettes.

Have been reading on the SF board on and off for the last 3 weeks. Have really enjoyed the threads by uhockey, greywolf, Robert L, Ruth, Melanie, ROrange and others...

Three of us arriving Nov. 12 around 8:00 ish. Staying at the Triton and looking for a good tapas/wine bar close to hotel. Checked out bocadillos and if we don't get there it looks like there is breakfast or lunch if we want. Anadula also looked interesting or 1550 hyde wine bar. For Greywolf maybe something like Tapestry or one of the "Bin" places in Vancouver is what I am hoping for.

We will be walking all over the city - looking at galleries and other such things MOFA on the weekend and as always will go to the ferry building. Friday - when the other person arrives thinking of maybe a tour to Hanger one via the ferry. Or maybe thirsty bear...or more art galleries etc. I also found foreign cinema which I think will appeal to friends though I am hoping more for brunch on Sun than in the evening. ( I don't need to see Rosemary's baby which is playing. ) They also have a request to go to writerswithdrinks which is at the makeout room - not sure about food. Any advice? Also we may have friends join from San Ramon - one who is a vegetarian but who eats fish.

High end choice for Fri or Sat is maybe Spruce or Quince. I like the local emphasis on Spruce. Also terested in good lunch places for californian in either northbeach, MOFA area, nob hill. Thanks for your help. I hope I did this correctly.

2031 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

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  1. Most of the galleries around Union Square stay open late on Friday and it is quite a fun scene. I think you would enjoy that more than taking the cold, dark ferry to the East Bay in the evening (you aren't going to see anything but a few lights on the boat). You could wander around Belden Place and see what strikes you (although I prefer Plouf for their mussels). I'm also a moderate fan of B44, moreso for their paella than their tapas.

    It is probably too late for you to get reservation for Quince; those are had a month or so in advance so you'll probably be happier at Spruce. Other high end that I would recommend in your neighborhood would be Ame or Anchor and Hope (the latter is less high end, but great seafood).

    Lastly, and a minor pet peeve, we live in San Francisco, not "San Fran"

    44 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

    Belden Place
    44 Belden Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104

    40 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

    1. Bocadillos has the best tapas I've found in SF.

      The Hangar One tasting room opens at noon, so you wouldn't have to take the ferry in the dark.

      I don't think any downtown galleries except tourist traps stay open late except on the first Thursday of every month, when many are open until 7:30 or 8. Most of the serious galleries are open Tuesday-Saturday until 5 or 6..

      710 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        I somehow missed this post. I wouldn't have been much help beyond my existing posts anyway as I am but a lowly visitor :-). And I don't tend to frequent small plates places like Tapastree or the Bins in SF for some reason. Hope you had a good time and will report back.


        grayelf (no wolves here except local denizen wolfe!)

      2. I personally detest the union square galaries - it's mostly high gloss commercial-type art, to my eye. If you find that so, get thee self down to SOMA and the Mission.
        This isn't a bad list, although the descriptions aren't much:

        Hangar One is interesting if you're into Absinthe, but there are other bars serving a lot of absinthe. You can get a greater selection. Cafe du Nord, Absinthe, any place with a good coctail program should be stocking 2 or 3 absinthes, including the St George. But if the trip's an excuse to get out on the water, see the new bridge construction, go for it. Not a bad thing at all.

        Don't worry about the movie at FC. I've been there a couple of times and never in the area with the movie, and it'll be cold (maybe not for a canadian, but we think 50 is cold for outside dining) so you'll sit inside, far from the movie.

        I prefer Salt House to Thirsty Bear. Better cocktails, better food. The beer at TB is average at best. And read up on Heaven's Dog, Town House. It's hard to recommend TB; good food in a super food town - and if you like beer, there's a whole different list - there was an excellent thread a month or two ago. Search 'toranado'.

        The Makeout room is in the midst of the mission - plenty of real SF action, few high-end options, lots of bars, lots of live music. Consider the famous mission burrito scene. Do check out Humphrey Slocume while you're in that nabe. But: in general, do your research and pick somewhere great, then take a cab down to the makeout room, do some wandering and barhopping on Mission and Valencia.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bbulkow

          The original poster has come and gone, but a Hangar One tasting typically includes 10-12 items, including eau de vie, grappa, whiskey, and infused vodkas. The absinthe is to my taste one of the least interesting of their products.