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Help! Need a first date restaurant for Saturday

I have a date with a very promising person on Saturday.

I'm looking for a restaurant that is

1. In San Francisco

2. Quiet enough for normal conversation without raised voices

3. Enough space between tables that we will feel like we have some privacy for conversation

4. Not Asian food

5. Not so popular that we won't be able to get a reservation on a Saturday night on such short notice

6. Ideally, in a location that lends itself to a nice walk after dinner

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. check out garibaldi's...it's a decent neighborhood spot that draws a nice crowd and that will likely be able to seat you on short notice...it's 8 blocks to fillmore/pac heights...not quite walking but close.

    1. You can check www.opentable.com for possibilities but just recommended One Market replying to another post (for a steak dinner) and it fits your criteria and has some good energy.

      One Market Restaurant
      1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

      1. Maybe Firefly in Noe Valley?

        Firefly Restaurant
        4288 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

        1. What about La Ciccia? The food is excellent, the service is terrific (and charming), it's not crazy loud, and it's in Noe Valley--perfect for an after-dinner walk.

          La Ciccia
          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

          1 Reply
          1. re: Pistou

            I love La Ciccia, but it's fairly noisy and the tables are quite close to each other.

            La Ciccia
            291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

          2. Check out a recent thread on quiet Italian restaurants.... most of those recommendations will work for this request, as well (except for Acquerello... that would be way too high end for a first date).

            A few suggestions from that post:
            Ideale (a little loud, but in North Beach so great walking afterwards)
            Venticello (maybe a bit subdued for a first date)

            Others could be Fino (Italian, near Union Square), Le Charm (French, South of Market), Allegro (Italian on Russian Hill, might be a little expensive, and the neighborhod is quiet, but you could take a nearby cable car to downtown or the Wharf after dinner, or a quick taxi to North Beach).


            1315 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

            Acquerello Restaurant
            1722 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94109

            Amarena Restaurant
            2162 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

            1257 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

            1. Hubby and I went to Bacco in Noe Valley on our first date, and I still think it is the ideal first date restaurant (and it meets all of your requirements).

              6 Replies
              1. re: susancinsf

                Have you been there since the chef died in April?

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  no, I haven't. almost mentioned that, though given its longevity I'd be surprised if it has changed that much. (it wasn't new when hubby and I had first date there, and we just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary). I do keep hoping to see a recent report.

                  my trips into the city are fairly limited these days, and when I do get to the neighborhood I choose La Ciccia (which is one of my favorites anywhere overall though I agree with you that it is noisy, particularly on Saturday night, and tables are closer together than Bacco, so it wouldn't be my recommendation for OP. Besides, the immediate neighborhood near Bacco is perhaps more interesting for walking after dinner than La Ciccia, though both are residential).

                  La Ciccia
                  291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    It is very frustrating that I can't seem to get Bacco added as a link, nor will 'manage your links' work for me. Perhaps someone else can get it to work.

                    1. re: susancinsf


                      Ristorante Bacco
                      737 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I don't think it was the chef who died. Vincenzo is the chef and Paulo (who died) ran the front of the house. At least I'm pretty sure about this.

                  2. I second Firefly, but I'm hesitant to recommend Garibaldi's. The last time I was there it was really loud, and the clientele leaned towards the older crowd.

                    Besides Firefly, how about Beretta (they have a couple of corner tables that provide a little more privacy), Bar Tartine, or Cafe Kati?

                    Cafe Kati
                    1963 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                    Bar Tartine
                    561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: rahir

                      i really like the firefly idea...just not sure of your chances in getting a quiet table for a saturday night - give them a call.

                      another thought was fringale...doesn't quite lend to a romantic walk until you get to the embarcadero a few blocks away...

                      1. re: vis

                        Embarcadero is a good idea - how's the noise at Chaya?

                        My ideal first date restaurant is Pakwan (tenderloin). I'd never suggest it, but I'd be very pleased if someone else did.

                    2. How about 1300 on Fillmore? They have a nice lounge with cozy chairs, and quiet, chic dining room. Great service, fantastic food that sparks conversation.

                      After dinner there is Yoshi's, Rassela's, or Sheba's for sit down jazz or just walk right up Fillmore into Pac Heights.