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Dinner on Friday

ocshooter Apr 6, 2010 09:18 AM

I am coming up to the Bay Area (Alameda really) on Friday/Saturday and a friend and I are going to head into the city for dinner on Friday (we have a car). Right now I have a reservation at Range, but my friend was thinking something more along the lines of Boulevard. Hawthorne Lane would have been good, but it is sadly no more. Neither of us have been up in a while.

I want a smaller place, Boulevard is just too big. There are not too many of the small places down here in So. Cal., and I like that vibe. My friend will be happy with good food and a cocktail, though I know that Range is only beer and wine. We don't want to spend more than about $50-75pp and he is not a fan of sushi.

So... stick with Range and have a cocktail somewhere else, or try another spot?

  1. ocshooter Apr 12, 2010 04:23 PM

    Thanks to all, We ended up going to Range. Frankly, I was not all that impressed. Between us, we had 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts. Only my roast sirloin was really excellent, and it ranged down to ordinary for my friend's steelhead. My chocolate souffle was good, and they gave us a second dessert for some reason, fried crepes with a light sauce and some prunes, which I thought was a little better, but neither were amazing.

    My buddy brought in a bottle of wine, so with the food, a cocktail each, and corkage and tip, it came out to a shade under $200. I've said this about places down home, but am I getting jaded that I expect more for $100pp?

    3 Replies
    1. re: ocshooter
      mariacarmen Apr 12, 2010 09:34 PM

      So sorry you were disappointed! I've never had a bad meal there (I've only been four times, but they were spread out over a couple years.) Range is a 1 Michellin-starred restaurant, so yes, I would expect the food to be superb every time, although I will admit that price seems rather high. Did you have appetizers or just entrees?

      1. re: ocshooter
        v
        vulber Apr 13, 2010 01:30 PM

        I think Range is one of those places that gets hurt by its Michelin star; peopel go in with ridiculous expectations; it's not quite michelin star good, but the food is interesting, fresh, high-quality, and consistent, with phenomenal cocktails and good ambience

        1. re: vulber
          ocshooter Apr 13, 2010 01:56 PM

          It wasn't raised expectations from the Michelin Star, though that was a reason to go there. I recently had dinner at a 2* spot in the Alps with a few missteps in the meal. It is just that between entrees and appetizers, only 1 out of 4 dishes was really exceptional. And not French Laundry exceptional, but exceptional that is just way, way, way better than ordinary. Of the other 3, one was totally ordinary. Toss in the desserts, and maybe it was 2 out of 6 dishes. Figure a $100 pp tab, a 26 on Zagat, and nothing but praise here, and I feel I am getting too jaded. At least my favorite sushi bar at home still can blow me away at $100 pp. Mmmmm... bluefin toro with truffle infused soy and real wasabi wrapped around Japanese eggplant.

          -----
          The French Laundry
          6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

      2. bbulkow Apr 6, 2010 04:42 PM

        If you like a good cocktail, and have time, I'd suggest shooting over to Heaven's Dog for a cocktail and maybe one plate of snacks - don't get stuffed because the food's only OK - then head over to Range and have one there for a comparison. Mmmmm. I can't tell you which is better - you should have your own opinion. Heaven's Dog isn't a bad park on a friday night, depending on the hour, on the early side seems rather pleasant, and can be routed well (nearish some of the freeway offramps).

        -----
        Heaven's Dog
        1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

        1. LisaJoy Apr 6, 2010 12:35 PM

          I agree. Range has a great cocktail list. Not to mention the bartenders are pretty awesome!

          1. mariacarmen Apr 6, 2010 09:32 AM

            Agree 100% with Vulber.

            1. v
              vulber Apr 6, 2010 09:21 AM

              You must be thinking of the wrong place, or gotten bad information. Range has some of the best cocktails in SF. I had a Satsuma Cobbler with sherry, curacao, and cloves there last Friday and it was phenomenal.

              Range not only has better food than Boulevard, but is less expensive too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: vulber
                ocshooter Apr 6, 2010 09:53 AM

                My bad, I just looked at the web site again, and I may try myself a B-Line.

                1. re: ocshooter
                  v
                  vulber Apr 6, 2010 09:57 AM

                  Seems like the type of place where you could just tell the bartender what you like and let them do their magic

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