15 People looking for good food and atmosphere
Come April I will have 14 friends here. On a Saturday. We plan on going on a boat cruise around the bay and landing back in Fisherman's Wharf area. None of us like chain restaurants, love good food and great drinks.
I've considered slanted door (reviews don't seem to be the best), yank sing (closes to early) and some places in North Beach.
Ultimately everyone will be staying near my place in the Castro/Mission Dolores/Mission. Baretta only provides a limited menu so assume starbelly will be the same way. Incanto goes too far for people and puerto alegre is just not good enough taste wise. Farina is good food but the service lately has been horrendous.
Do you have any great ideas nearby the wharf or in the Castro/Mission area?
Thanks for any recommendations!
I'm not a huge Slanted Door fan, but the last time I was there with a group that size, it was a pretty good experience. Not sure I would count on anything being significantly better without being really upscale. Having said that, it wouldn't be on my personal short list if I were to arrange the event. In that neighborhood, you might also want to consider La Mar. I have done numerous group events (dinners, birthday parties, etc.) at La Mar and they have all been good.
I was pleasantly surprised by Town Hall this weekend. They have a front communal table that you might be able to snag / reserve that would suit about 15 (call though, sometimes communal tables like that are no-reservation), and a private dining room upstairs. Service was quite good, too. My dining companions snarfed their entrees so fast that I wasn't able to get a good feel for the menu - but I suppose that's a good sign. Too bad - those crab ravioli sounded great on the menu. I had the sand
Regarding Slanted Door, the food there is quite good - as is the whole experience. Great service. The detractors are usually complaining that they think they can get the same food in a run-down dive for 1/5 of the cost ("it's just beef on a plate").
But let's face it - in that price range, you can simply get "very good" - not the best.
I've done 10 people at Fresca and been very happy. They could probably accomodate 15 (the one on 24th Street). The menu seems to suit people of different taste levels since at the least adventurous they can get lomo saltado (stir fried beef with rice and french fries) or could go more adventerous with ceviches etc. And they have a good cocktail menu
I also just read about the family meals at Walzwerk yesterday on here somewhere. (South Van Ness around 14th) which is a little out of your area and only serves beer and wine, but I feel like I need to suggest it since I was trying to come up with a group of people to drag there myself.
I like Medjool in the Mission and they have some large tables that could accomodate a big party. I hear good things about Range, but have not been there myself.
I've been to Starbelly with a group of that size and it worked well -- the only problem is that the restaurant is so incredibly loud that we were shouting across the table at each other. But the food was pretty good (not great, but pretty good) and it was a good atmosphere, and if you go on the early side it may not be as loud.