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Special birthday dinner spot w/out pretense

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Will be in SF at the end of the month for my mom's 60th birthday and am looking for a special place that gets it especially right in terms of good food, wine list and atmosphere, without being overpriced or pretentious. We're staying in Union Sq, but can easily get to other parts of the city. And we'll also be going to B44 for a dinner and Chez Panisse Cafe for a lunch. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. If your mom can handle the noise, NOPA.

    1. Here are a few suggestions:
      Ame (East-West Asian Californian)
      Chez Papa Resto (Provencal)
      Perbacco (Italian)
      Piperade (Basque)
      Town Hall (American)
      Zuni Cafe (Mediterranean)

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      Zuni Cafe
      1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

      Perbacco
      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Piperade
      1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111

      Town Hall Restaurant
      342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105

      Ame Restaurant
      689 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

      Chez Papa Resto
      4 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103

      1. I second Town Hall. You might also try Le Charm or Presidio Social Club.

        1 Reply
          1. re: abstractpoet

            I second La Ciccia, Lorena and Massimiliano are very charming, I'm sure they will make your mother feel special, not to mention the food is fantastic.

            I must say though the space is small so not good if you have a large group,
            and it can get a little noisy.

          2. Many thanks, all! I'm excited to check out your recs :)

            1. A favorite of mine is 1550 Hyde. Good California cuisine and reasonable wine list. It is right on the cable car line so you could hop a car from Union Square. It is more of a neighborhood place than a tourist destination.