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Only 3 dinners, where would you go?

My wife and I are 29 yr. old foodies from New York. She, for all intensive purposes, is a pescatarian. We are going to be in SF for three nights in June. Given, the Bay Area's proud and extensive food culture, we are having a hard time trying to decide where to go for dinner. Right now, it looks like Perbacco is considered a must. True? Also, Slanted Door? Is Chez Pannise Cafe still a must experience? Sebo? Absinthe?

In other words, we need some direction. We will use the day to hit up the likes of the Hog Island Oyster Bar, etc ... But we could really use some local, experienced help with dinner.

THANKS!

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Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Sebo
517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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    1. re: dhenry18

      Chez Panisse may be a must experience but hard to suggest the downstairs for a pescatarian with its set menu and no way of knowing what is on it at the time of making a reservation.
      Of course you could get lucky like this Saturday.
      Saturday, May 15 an all-fish menu $95
      An apéritif
      Crudo of sea scallops, salmon, and halibut with nasturtiums and capers
      Tomales Bay clam risotto fritters
      Grilled yellowfin tuna tagliata with basil pesto, wild rocket, and fava beans
      Lucero Farms strawberry and rhubarb feuilleté

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      Chez Panisse
      1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

      1. re: wolfe

        If you hit CP on a seafood day...it can be simply awesome. They get great fresh stuff and their hands off approach lets the fish shine. I still remember a fire roasted lobster tail wrapped in grape leaves...10-12 years ago.

        I was at the cafe a few weeks ago and had roasted halibut with cannelli beans and it was great. It was deceptively simple. Upstairs at the cafe almost always has a fish/seafood and veggie option but I don't think I'd use up a dinner...a lunch however might be ideal.

    2. If looking for an alternative to Chez Panisse in the East Bay, I'd recommend Commis. Should be at least a few vegetarian/pescatarian friendly options on the menu.

      It would help if you posted some of the NY restaurants you like and/or what specific types of cuisine you're interested in, besides the pescatarian stipulation.

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      Chez Panisse
      1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

      Commis
      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

      1. My favorite meal that I've had in some time was at Frances. They book up weeks (if not months) in advance so I'd get on it now for June!

        1. Not a local but I visit San Francisco from time to time.

          You might want to consider Bar Crudo for a good meal at a good price point. I like it a lot. Haven't been to the new location yet but I wouldn't be worried.

          FISH in Sausalito should provide a good excuse to ride the ferry. Lunch or dinner, your call. Cash only.

          Lots of others places.

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          Bar Crudo
          655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

          1. "for all INTENTS AND purposes" ...

            Note that Chez Panisse is two restaurants: the original Chez Panisse and Chez Panisse Cafe. Some people actually prefer the cafe, which does the same style of food but is more casual and doesn't have a fixed menu. You might be just as happy with the cafe if you want to have a Chez Panisse experience. BTW, in the past, Tuesday has been "fish night" -- if you're going to be in town on a Tuesday you might give them a call and ask if this is still true.

            While Perbacco is very good, I think it might be too similar to other places in NY. You might want to check out La Ciccia instead, Check out reports from fellow NYer j.jessica.lee: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6944... Actually, if you click on her name in the first post you'll get a list that includes her other extensive reports going back a couple of visits -- a perspective from another NY visitor might be helpful.

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            La Ciccia
            291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

            Perbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            Chez Panisse
            1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

            8 Replies
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              FWIW, while I've never dined at Del Posto, I've never had an Italian meal in NY as satisfying as those I've had at Perbacco. That said, Esca is certainly more diverse of choice for fish lovers.

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              Perbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              1. re: whiner

                Esca is a really good spot: wonderful fish, good pastas and a solid selection of Italian wines. It's part of the Batali empire. My modest take is that chefs/restaurants in the Bay Area aren't "wired" that way just yet. I suspect they will be down the road. Maybe cooks from Perbacco (one of my favorite FiDi restaurants) will lead the charge. We'll see.

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                Perbacco
                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                1. re: steve h.

                  Well, I actually prefer Perbacco to Esca. But I pointed out Esca because, if I were someone who exclusively ordered fish, I'm not certain that I would have such a strong preference. Esca's fish selection is simply outrageously good. Of course, it is also mostly southern while Perbacco is northern.

                  I must disagree on wine selection, though. Esca's is truly excellent, but as is Perboacco's... and less expensive.

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                  Perbacco
                  230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                  1. re: whiner

                    ahh, that's what makes a market.

                    1. re: whiner

                      Esca is my wife's favorite restaurant in NY. We have been going there since we went to Positano as part of our honeymoon because the food is so similar.

                      1. re: dhenry18

                        I think you'll enjoy Bar Crudo if you want to fit it into your schedule. It's a bit of a hybrid and well worth the effort.

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                        Bar Crudo
                        655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                        1. re: steve h.

                          You might want to consider Incanto out in Noe Valley. It's a swell ride on the J-Church line if you don't mind mass transit. Chris Cosentino is an east-coast guy who hit his chef stride in San Francisco. His pastas are very good, fish is usually on the menu. Pig parts are the attraction. Wines are pretty good. Something for everyone. One of my favorite places.

                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Ruth. First, thank you for the lesson. I actually did not know that. Second, thank you for the suggestion to look at suggestions from fellow New Yorkers.