NYE Restaurant for people from out of town
We are coming to San Fran while doing a trip around California and would like to find a nice restaurant with views of the bay, great food and a buzz. We have heard La Mar on Pier 1.5 would be an excellent place to go ?
What do people think as we are from Australia and never been to San Fran before.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Pier 1 1/2, San Francisco, CA 94111
What restaurants do you like? What kind of NYE experience are you looking for? Are you doing anything else NYE that you'd like to be close to? How much are you looking to spend? Do you like cocktails?
La Mar is reputed to be decent. In general, view and excellence don't go together. I usually have sub-par eating experiences on special occasions like NYE - the A team has ducked work that night.
Hey, Thanks for the reply... We are just going out for dinner NYE ( unless you can recommend anything) as we are out of town and thought a couple of bottles of wine and amazing food would be nice.. Maybe even some life music in the back ground...
We do not mind spending money on a good night anywhere from $100 pp to $250pp given the right environment. Not sure if this is good money for America on NYE for dinner or not.
Thanks for the feedback on La Mar...
$100pp ~ $250pp is good money for dinner in america. At that price range, you should start with the Michelin guide list and do some research. Few of those places are on the waterfront, so you can choose between "amazing" and "view". Boulevard would be the exception, but it's not really a view restaurant.
SF throws a decent NYE. There's fireworks on the waterfront at midnight, and lots of clubs & parties. Some have scaled back this year - the symphony's party doesn't look as huge as in past years. I'm assuming the city's still doing the fireworks; I can't find confirmation or denial anywhere.
I haven't been to La Mar, but they don't usually make the list of "amazing" - people say "solid" "good" "tasty".
For energetic atmosphere and great food, you might consider Jardinere, which has a great jazz nook and excellent food. Or Yoshi's, which has great music and OK food --- the Oakland outpost has the hot show, McCoy Tyner ---
For wine and waterfront you should look up RN74, see if you can get a table with a view. I don't know what slanted door might be doing that night. Top of the Mark always books up; they should have a solid american swing band and everyone will crowd to the windows to watch the fireworks.
In many cases, you should consider a reservation well in advance at one place with great food, then cab over to somewhere along the waterfront for drinks & fireworks at about 10:30, or choose a place like Boulevard where you can simply walk out the front door at 11:45
In each case, you'll have to look up what their special NYE package is. OpenTable.com is a good clearinghouse for this information, but I can't find their 2010 NYE page yet. You might have to check back in a few weeks.
One caveat about Jardiniere.... we had an absolutely miserable NYE experience there several years ago. Hopefully they've learned how to organize it, but it cost something like $200+ per person (guaranteed to credit card at time of booking, non-refundable). We had 9:30 pm reservations, and were eventually seated at an "extra" table hastily set up at the edge of a dance floor at about 11:30 pm.
No comp drinks during the wait at the bar, no comp appetizers, no apology, no nothing. Because of the non-refundable payment, I didn't feel we could leave, but we should have just told the manager we were leaving and expecting a refund within 24 hours.
As it was, we got too tipsy at the bar while waiting, dinner was a blur, and we left right after midnight. What an expensive disaster!
I've had my best luck with lower-key dinners at neighborhood restaurants on NYE, like Chenery Park. They will still be expensive... $65 and more per person for what is normally a $35-50 experience (food only).
By the way, if you go to the Embarcadero for the fireworks, be prepared to walk back to your hotel or away from the Ferry Building to get public transportation (except BART or Muni Metro, which run underground). Thousands of people choke the streets and block taxis and buses.
Chenery Park Restaurant
683 Chenery Street, San Francisco, CA 94131
One Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111
Despite it was me suggesting Jardiniere, I think the right idea is a small, local dinner and ring in the new year at a bar/club somewhere. Save your big $$ meal for another night when the kitchen will have its act together. As I said before, the A team might not be working NYE.
Harry Denton's might not be the dumbest idea.
La Mar could be a good call - it's well located and you should see some great fireworks from there or take a 25 minute walk to Pier 39. And the food is fun and tasty - it's not "elite" from a foodie's perspective as others have said on the boards. You can even walk across the street to the Hotel Vitale and the Americano Bar for after-dinner drinks on their patio depending on the night.
There are better places from a foodie's perspective but you have to counter that with what some other folks have said about those places not necessarily having their top folks on NYE. I like the Embarcadero area because it will offer some decent spots for fireworks viewing and may keep you from having to take a taxi anywhere if you guys stay in the financial district or Embarcadero/Soma for your hotels...you can even walk from La Mar to Pier 39 if you want to see the throngs of people. Or you can walk to a couple of lounges in the area (Bubble Lounge, American Bar)
I try to keep my expectations moderate for NYE and focus on the folks I'm spending the night with and keep the locations I need to hop between to a minimum but that's just me.
I might save my culinary adventure restaurant for the night before (30th) or for January 2nd since the madness of NYE will not affect the experience.
Another spot you may want to think about is Bix - it's a classic american place and should have a good buzz going. The food is consistently very good as well as are their drinks and wine selection.
56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133
, San Francisco, CA 94102
I agree that La Mar is a very solid experience. Their fish is extremely fresh, the ceviches are as good as I've had anywhere and the other dishes are wonderful. It's not a Michelin-star experience but, if I lived in the area, I'd visit frequently (and it's a lovely space). As it is I look forward to stopping in on periodic business trips from Chicago.