Where did everyone go?
My husband and I just got back from another phenomenal dinner at Perbacco. From the salumi to the tagliatelle, everything was divine as usual. But we hadn't originally planned on a V-Day dinner out, and did the last minute search (literally 6 PM) on Open Table. We were SHOCKED to find that Perbacco had numerous, prime-time openings, and booked for 7:30. The restaurant was only about 2/3 full. We were especially surprised because they didn't offer the dreaded Valentines fixed price menu, but rather their regular menu. So to those that did go out on Valentines Day, were restaurants full, or is this "holiday" another victim of the recession?
Just guessing, but this year V-Day was competing with both Lunar New Year, which kept a lot of people in the Bay Area busy with family, and a three-day weekend, which means people may have gone out of town (especially since this is the first nice weather we've had for a while). While I like Perbacco, I don't think of it as the kind of place for a romantic dinner, either.
re: Ruth Lafler
Normally, Perbacco isn't open on Sundays. Not sure how aggressively they had been marketing their V-Day availability. Plus, it's in the Financial District and probably not primarily known as date restaurant. I'd agree that's it's not a super romantic place in the traditional sense, but it could probably hold its own against most places populated by the V-Day crowd.
Went to Yank Sing (Rincon Center) for brunch. The place was about as packed as I've ever seen it. The Embarcadero and the Ferry Building were bustling with people enjoying the weather and the long weekend. Some locals may have gone out of town, but there were also a lot of people coming into town from the suburbs.
The castro was hopping bustlijg and full.
My friends intended to go to the Sausage Factory for dinner before a movie, which almost never has a wait, and they had a line and a 20 minute wait.
Most every nice or semi-nice restaurant was fully booked.