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Inspired dining near Embarcadero?

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Hello,

I'm here in San Francisco on business and I'm staying near Embarcadero station. I'd love to get some recommendations of places to go for dinner nearby. I'm actually staying in the condo building that hosts RN74, but have read too many "uninspired" reviews to want to go. I've already been to Town Hall, which I thought was ok but not amazing, and Slanted Door, which I had an amazing clam dish at back in the fall, but in general I thought I was paying for the view and I can get better Vietnamese back in Philly where I live for half the price. Reviews of Perbacco seem favorable, though it's the kind of food I cook at home. There are no reservations available at Boulevard tonight, and One Market also gets mixed reviews. Is there something I'm missing? FWIW I went to Absinthe last night and had an enjoyable meal.

Thanks in advance...

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Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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

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

RN74
301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

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  1. you must be quite the chef if perbacco is the food you cook at home

    1 Reply
    1. re: vulber

      What I meant was based on the menu Perbacco is the style of food I cook at home. Cooking pasta or risotto is not rocket science, nor is making sugo or ragu. However, if the food and dining experience is wonderful at Perbacco, then it is worth going. Since I have not eaten there, that is what I would like to know before spending my money.

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      Perbacco
      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    2. Perbacco's sort of the kind of food we cook at home, but Staffan Terje does a better job with pasta and braised meats than we can. And the agnolotti dal plin combine those two elements.

      Some great food at Barbacco as well.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691978

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      Perbacco
      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Barbacco
      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      1. I don't know what inspires you, but you could walk to Flytrap for food with a Persian twist. I was very happy with my meal there several months ago, especially with an order of meatballs.
        http://www.zareflytrap.com/

        1. You can also walk to Piperade for some great Basque food. Great cocktails as well. Definitely call for a reservation though bar seating might be available.

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          Piperade
          1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111

          1. If you like Peruvian food (especially perfectly prepared ceviche and great Pisco Sours) check out La Mar Cebecheria in Pier 1 1/2, just north of the Ferry Building.

            I agree with Robert on Perbacco and its more casual sister, Barbacco.

            I would not recommend One Market - I think it's very uninspired. The food is good, but there is nothing memorable about the place.

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            Perbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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

            Barbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1. You could try Barbacco, which is the more casual version of Perbacco and is right next door if you're looking for that sort of food but less expensive (although if you live in Philly, you get plenty of Italian food back home! I miss the sandwiches from Sarcone's...and good East Coast pizza...mmm).

              Be aware that Barbacco has communal tables though, so if you don't plan at sitting at the bar you may share your table w/strangers. Some people love that, others do not---it's just a personal preference & a FYI.

              If you like seafood and don't mind a hustle-bustle atmosphere check out Hog Island Oyster Company in the Ferry Building (http://www.hogislandoysters.com/templ...). If you want more upscale seafood, I've heard that Ame (http://www.amerestaurant.com/home.html) and Aqua (http://www.aqua-sf.com/aqua/) supposed to be good, but I've never been, although I'm sure the other Chowhounds can report on their experiences there. Lots of reviews for those on Yelp that may give you an idea.

              If you like ethnic foods, I'd give that a try since IMO there aren't the wide variety of ethnic restos in Philly as there are out here (I'll let others recommend specifics since I haven't been out here long enough to know the ins & outs). Or do something quintessentially Bay Area--it's a really short BART ride to Berkeley & you could hit up somewhere legendary like Chez Panisse.

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              Perbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              Chez Panisse
              1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

              Ame Restaurant
              689 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

              Aqua
              252 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Barbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111