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Dine About Town (DAT), June 2010

Anything to report yet? I have a couple of reservations, but they're not until next week.

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  1. I used it to finally try Scoma's and went there for lunch yesterday. Everything was good and fresh, and I can see why it is often considered to be the best seafood on the wharf, but I can't imagine ever going back and paying their regular ala carte prices.

    The appetizer was either clam chowder (nothing memorable, but liked the addition of fresh crab) or caesar salad; I can't remember what the other entree selections were as I just went straight for the petite crab louie salad. Was definitely impressed with the high quality of fruits/vegetables used in the salad (I know they were featuring heirloom tomatoes on another dish, not sure if the tomatoes used were heirloom, but they definitely were delicious), and how they weren't just used as afterthoughts to be overpowered by the crab, which, of course, was delicious.

    2 Replies
    1. re: vulber

      Nice to know Scoma's is using good ingredients in addition to the seafood. BTW, thanks to chowhound when my Dad asked a couple of weeks ago for a recommendation on the wharf for some visiting friends, I passed on the info that Scoma's was the best bet foodwise but expensive. He reported back that the food was indeed excellent, and as I'd warned them that it was expensive, it wasn't a big deal that it was "pricey." Too bad Scoma's isn't doing DAT for dinner, since a long June evening seems like the optimal time to take advantage of the view.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Scoma's is doing DAT for dinner.

        Nonetheless, for that price, I'd want the food to be amazing, and not just very good, as there are places with amazing seafood (my personal favorite is Anchor Oyster Bar, opinion on this board varies) where the cost of dinner there plus a cab ride to there from the Wharf would still be less than a dinner at Scoma's.

        I also found the interior to be extremely sterile, even for a touristy restaurant that attracts older people.

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        Anchor Oyster Bar
        579 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

    2. I'm going to Luce on Thursday. Any recommendations on things off the DAT menu to try while I'm there?

      4 Replies
      1. re: nicedragonboy

        Not related to the regular menu at Luce, but I have only had happy hour at the adjoining bar - Bar 888 - inside the hotel. If there's a way that you can fit in a pre-dinner snack then I recommend you get the mini banh mi-like pulled pork sliders on brioche buns. They are the most delicious little sandwiches, but they are a tad on the sweet side if you are not into sweetness in your food. Otherwise, do report back since I have been meaning to try Luce.

        1. re: nicedragonboy

          here's my old post November 2009
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6662...
          this fave is on the menu:
          Sweetbread and Beef Tongue, Egg, Pancetta Jus and Potato “Espuma”15
          http://www.lucewinerestaurant.com/men...

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          Luce - InterContinental San Francisco Hotel
          888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

          1. So a couple of friends and I had a DAT dinner last night at B44 and it was a complete disappointment. The food was mediocre and the service was horrible.

            My menu was as follows:
            First Course - duck confit
            Second Course - Paella Dine About Town (Saffron rice / chicken / squid / mussels)
            Third Course - Crema Catalana

            The duck confit was prepared over truffle infused green lentils. While the duck was tasty, it was on the dry side. And if you're use to duck confit as prepared by the French, this is not it. Perhaps the Spanairds prepare it differently than the French. The lentils were good, not overcooked.

            The paella was a big disappointment. It was overcooked, absolutely no liquid remaining, and sticking to the pan. The seafood consisted of four mussels and squid that you needed a magnifying glass to see. If the rice was saffron infused, you definitely could not tast it as the tomato base used to cook the rice overwhelmed the whole dish.

            The highlight of the evening was the Crema Catalana. The carmelized crust was perfect. And although the egg custard had a slight lemon flavor, there was no hint of caramel anywhere.

            Finally, the service left much to be desired. We arrived at 6pm and were seated outside. However, the overwhelming stench of sewer forced us into the restaurant on a beautiful night. After we were seated inside, the waitress kept pressing us for our drink and food orders, as if she was trying to rush us through our meal, even though the restaurant was almost empty. Than the drinks took 10-15 minutes to arrive at the table, even though, once again, the restaurant was almost empty. Then my friend ordered the steak option medium. When it came, the steak was almost well done with only slight hints of pink and too dry. In order to make the steak more palatable, my friend asked the overly anxious waitress for additional sauce. As we completed our meal, the waitress never brought the sauce. When my friend asked a waiter for additional sauce, he tried to tell her that this would be a complete mistake as it would drown the steak. My friend explained however that the steak was overcooked and too dry and needed some sauce and he proceeded to argue with her about whether the steak was cooked properly or not. After the bill came, the waitress completely disappeared. Having spent several hundred dollars for dinner, you think she would have the courtesy to come back at least once to see if we needed anything else. The poor service downgraded the restaurant from a two- to one- start review.

            I would definitely say skip B44 on your DAT. While most restaurants participate in DAT in order to attract repeat customers, I would definitely NOT return to B44 after this experience.

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            B44
            44 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

            1. Last night was an impromptu DAT dinner at Cassis - we had not been in the neighborhood since Winterland closed its doors at Steiner and Sutter. The Cassis dining room was nearly filled on Tuesday evening with a mixed crowd of diners; young couples, friends, families with children, and oldsters, too - it's happily boisterous at 7:30 pm. Parking was easy. Service was impeccable. Food: excellent
              The DAT menu offered many choices and this table of five selected the foie gras for a first course, followed by halibut, and finishing with profiteroles... another entree selection was perfectly cooked medium-rare lamb filet on couscous. I was so enarmored of my carrot ginger soup-du-jour and the house specialty Lasagne, I can't even describe the other DAT apps (Tiger Prawns) and desserts(Apple Crumble). http://www.restaurantcassis.com/Dine%...
              Everyone was happy, plates were cleaned; and we lingered over coffee and desserts. We'll go back for more.
              http://www.restaurantcassis.com/
              the Early Dinner Prix Fixe is a $25 value: http://www.restaurantcassis.com/%2425...

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              Restaurant Cassis
              2101 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cynsa

                That DAT menu looks fabulous! This is an example of what I suggested in another DAT thread: that restaurants that usually have a prix fixe that's less than or similar to DAT make DAT "special" by offering more premium dishes than their usual prix fixe.

              2. Finally made it to Campton Place, which I've been wanting to try for a while. Overall, it was a good restaurant experience, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to convince me to pay regular prices for this place.

                My hubby and I each got different items from the DAT menu, and wine pairings. For appetizers, he got the salad and I had the carrot soup. Both were pretty decent, though it would have been better to have gotten a more interesting appetizer than soup and salad. The sauvignon blanc wine pairing from the Loire valley was ok, nice and light start to the meal.

                For our entrees, my hubby got the steak, while I had the trout. I thought these were pretty good for DAT fare, since most pricey restaurants have something lame like chicken breast. The steak was very good and perfectly medium rare, and the trout was also cooked well, not overcooked like some places tend to do, with a nice crisp skin. The steak came with an Australian shiraz (just ok), while the trout came with a Spanish Albarino (one of my favorite white wines so I liked this better). The portions for the entrees (especially the trout) are not huge...I was ok with it since I'm perpetually on a diet anyway, but more hearty eaters might be disappointed.

                For dessert, hubby had the lemon tart while I had the chocolate parfait. Since I don't like fruity desserts and my hubby doesn't like chocolate, we didn't try each others. I thought my chocolate parfait, which was sort of a mouse with bits of whipped cream, was pretty good...I liked how the nuts added some crunch, and it was fairly light for a chocolate dessert. Desserts came with a German eiswein, which was pretty decent, though I would have preferred some sort of port/madeira with the chocolate.

                Overall, I think it was a good meal, but I don't think it accomplished the point of DAT, which is to make me want to come back to the restaurant to try out the regular menu. It did seem like they cut some corners, having everyone order from the DAT menu (makes service easier, but we don't have the option of supplementing with other items), and having the same wine pairing for both courses in the appetizer and dessert (would have been nice to have more customized wines, especially since they were only serving a limited menu anyway). I think I preferred our DAT at One Market last January, where the wine pairings were cheaper ($13 for 2 wines as opposed to $25 for 3 here), and we got to try other items on the menu (my hubby decided to opt for the "weekly beast" instead).

                A decent experience for DAT (especially if you're on a diet), though not sure I would come back for the regular menu.

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

                Campton Place
                340 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108