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where to take dad on 80th birthday?

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I'm looking for someplace nice but not stuffy to take dad on his 80th birthday. We'll be a party of 6, and he likes old-style Italian and american or steak, but I want the food to be great. They're visiting from out of town so someplace in SF, or possibly up torwards wine country. Thoughts?

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  1. House of Prime Rib?

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    House of Prime Rib
    1906 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94109

    2 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Yea, I took him there once, when he visited. That's about right (but it was crowded). I need something new, and perhaps just a touch more "special"? Like some old-style north beach italian, but with actually good food.

      1. re: leeinsf

        Go to the Harris, a block down from the house of P.R.

    2. http://www.northbeachrestaurant.com/

      1. Harris' has truly great steak

        Acquerello for elegant Italian dining.

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

        1. Capp's Corner is one of the last old school Italian places around. Might also try Globe Restaurant, where you can get a good steak (for 2) but other things in the Italian range (osso buco, mussels, etc.). Globe is nice but not crazy nice.

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          Capp's Corner
          1600 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133

          1. O.k. thanks y'all. I've taken him to Harris', but I've never heard of Capp's Corner or the Globe - will look into it. I also thought of the Leatherneck Steakhouse at the Marines Memorial, which i had never heard of but stumbled upon (he was a marine.) Anyone been?

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            Capp's Corner
            1600 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133

            5 Replies
            1. re: leeinsf

              You could try Alfred's Steakhouse which is old school San Francisco place.

              http://www.alfredssteakhouse.com/

              1. re: leeinsf

                Forget Capp's Corner -- nostalgia value only, the food is mediocre at best. Leathernecks is a great idea. Threads discussing it can be found here: http://www.chow.com/restaurants/1635/...

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                Capp's Corner
                1600 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                1. re: leeinsf

                  +1 for The Globe. One of my favorite atmospheres in town - quiet, smallish, like what you would actually eat in northern italy these days. The bar is deceptive - looks like nothing, but it's a minimalist style - they mix the classics very, very well - like a margarita - just get the house version.

                  The only steak there is "steak for two", which is usually some kind of flank/porterhouse, and awesome if you like your meat juicy with lots of drippings. If you like your beef pristene pink like playdough out of a factory, go elsewhere. One reviewer called it slimy - I think it's the best in town. Really depends on the style of meat you like.

                  They have only one cut. Lots of other things on the menu - it's a standard one page cal/ital kind of thing, good pizza oven, a few pastas, well executed, and a lot more intimacy than most places. Open late, too.

                  Can't say about Leathernecks - but if he is/was a marine, and it's known-good steak, wouldn't that be a slam dunk?

                  1. re: bbulkow

                    The notion of the Globe as quiet is a little dangerous. Back in the late 90s when this place used to be packed, it was one of the loudest restaurants in town (small space, brick walls, etc). The latest noise rating in the the Chronicle (from 2006) is a bomb. Now, the last several times I was there, it was reasonably quiet mainly because it wasn't crowded at all. That's when this place is at its best and I agree with bbulkow about good food, a cool bar, open late, etc. It's a really nice place to have around. However, it wouldn't be my first choice for a special occasion dinner although I guess it could work.

                  2. re: leeinsf

                    For his 80th (he was a bit young for this battle) and a marine this history which is fascinating might be a nice present.
                    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/...
                    I especially enjoyed the little stories about the George medal and Sergeant Major Sir Jacob Charles Vouza.

                  3. Do NOT go to Alfred's, their quality has gone way down. How about The Tadich Grill? It's old school, traditional San Francisco seafood. Great sand dabs and gin martini's!

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                    Tadich Grill
                    240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: speisbraten

                      The only problem with Tadich is that the do not take reservations and it can get rather crowded between 7pm & 9pm. Sam's Grill (on Bush St.) is another fine old-school seafood house that does not get quite the number of tourists that Tadich does.

                      Perbacco is not "old-style" Italian, but the food there is very comforting and very, very good.

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                      Perbacco
                      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      1. re: DavidT

                        I've been to Sam's and Tadich, and just from a food point of view, I think Tadich is much superior -- unless you like your fish served with a plain, badly peeled and boiled potato sitting awkwardly next to it. I don't think either Sam's or Tadich is really "special occasion" either -- they're a little to hustle-bustle. Really, I think he nailed it with Leathernecks: good steaks, nice atmosphere including a view, and the Marine connection.

                    2. One that you might want to consider is Bar Tartine. It's definitely more New American/Californian than traditional/old-style, but they always have a steak for two and skillet chicken for one or two on their menu every night, and the food is outstanding.

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                      Bar Tartine
                      561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                      1. FWIW, I'm going to vote against Globe. It's small, can get loud and has a very casual vibe.
                        I'm going to throw in a rec for Big Four http://www.big4restaurant.com/ It's super classy, great food and drinks, it's been around for a while and it feels special. Your Dad can definitley get a great steak, or enjoy other great entrees.

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                        Big Four
                        1075 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jdinsf

                          The suggestion for The Big Four is an inspired one. A great place for an octogenarian father. It's a bit expensive, but how many 80ths doe a Dad have?

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                          Big Four
                          1075 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

                        2. Leatherneck does seem like a great choice. I still like Globe but the marine connection is too obvious and it is his b-day. I'd just stick to steak.