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30th Birthday Celebrate - Recs please!

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  • deeg Jun 15, 2010 05:51 PM
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Hi! The boyfriend just hit the big 3-0, and I want to take him someplace special. We're from NY but will be in San Francisco next week, so I'd love to surprise him with a really lovely evening - an amazing dinner followed by drinks someplace 'cool' (nice setting, etc). Any suggestions? We're staying near Union Square, some someplace that's easily reachable by foot or public transport would be great. Any type of food. Price - say up to $150 total.
Thanks!

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  1. Perbacco is likely a far walk but i think that would be great.

    Another popular spot is Kokkari(been getting knocked on this board a bit lately but it's wildly popular and I'm a fan)i

    i haven't been but I hear really good things about gitane as well and that's likely a decent walk.

    Bix is another "near Union Square" spot that is always good and has a lively bar as well.
    you better hurry on reservations...places fill up in SF. call the restaurnat...opentable doesn't always show all availability

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    Perbacco
    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Bix
    56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

    1. If you are at all interested in Peruvian food, I would suggest La Mar, which is right next to the Ferry Building. It's a vibrant place with great ceviche that's a short cab ride from Union Square. (You can also take the historic F-line street cars.) Afterwards, you could walk to Ozumo or RN74 for drinks. Or you could go back to the Union Square or Nob Hill area and have drinks with a view of San Francisco in any of the high-rise hotels that have view bars. (Like the Top of the Mark at the Mark Hopkins.)

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      Ozumo Restaurant
      161 Steuart Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

      Top of the Mark
      Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108

      RN74
      301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

      3 Replies
      1. re: nocharge

        To combine these recommendations, you could walk to Perbacco (not much of a walk for NYers), then after dinner take the cable car from right out front up Nob Hill to the Top of the Mark.

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        Perbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Top of the Mark
        Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Depending how big eaters/drinkers you are, you could do happy hour at La Mar (the best things there are the ceviches and pisco sours anyway), dinner at Perbacco, and then take the cable car to Top of the Mark and be near your hotel when you're done with your evening. I like this lineup so much I'm writing it down for myself! It's a nice balance between touristy and local.

          Bix would be a good backup if you can't get into Perbacco, but Perbacco's food seems a little more special even if Bix has a cooler vibe. I love Kokkari but I always consider it for large parties because of the hefty portions and loud dining room.

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          Perbacco
          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          Bix
          56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

          Top of the Mark
          Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. re: Pei

            Checked the websites for both Top of the Mark and Luce and see that they have a reciprocal offer(W-Sa) for a three course dinner at Luce,with sparkling wine,a taxi voucher to the Top of the Mark after and a martini under the stars with a view for $80 per person.Michelin starred Luce is walking distance from Union Square,an elegant but not stuffy space and has gotten good reviews.This is a bit more than you wanted to spend,but good value for all included.You could keep the price down by ordering Luce's prix-fixe menu(served M-F) and walking or arranging your own transportation as all destinations are relatively close.This would qualify for the special,amazing dinner,lovely evening experience you are looking for.You also have lots of great suggestions already mentioned.

            http://www.intercontinentalmarkhopkin...
            http://www.lucewinerestaurant.com/

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            Top of the Mark
            Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108

      2. Thanks everyone! I made a res at Perbacco and will plan on going to Top of the Mark afterward- sounds great! Hopefully the boyfriend will like it :)

        -----
        Perbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Top of the Mark
        Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108

        3 Replies
        1. re: deeg

          Just wanted to thank everyone for the great recommendation. Perbacco couldn't have been better! The service was spectacular - I had mentioned in my reservation that it was a birthday, so they had a little card waiting for the birthday boy, everyone wished him a happy birthday, we got a really nice table, and were treated to a free dessert. The food was AMAZING - we split the peach salad to start, then did a 2-pasta tasting (the short rib ragout and the raviora with ricotta & asparagus), then the duck & scallops for our main. Each dish was better than the last! (although I think the asparagus pasta and scallops were the favorites). We were stuffed but went with the caramel gelato for dessert - delicious, especially with the salt- and they brought over the "ugly-but-good" hazelnut cookies as a treat, which were such a lovely consistency and had such a nice flavor. Ooh, and I got a 'girly' drink to start- Prosecco with strawberry - and it came with the most delicious candied strawberry, such a nice little treat. Afterward we went to the Top of the Mark for a drink, was lovely but we were too full to properly enjoy it!
          All in all, a great meal and a fabulous experience. Thanks again!

          -----
          Perbacco
          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          Top of the Mark
          Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. re: deeg

            I"m glad our recommendations worked out for you. I also celebrated a birthday at Perbacco once, and got a card. I think that's a lovely touch. Thanks so much for reporting back. It's often said that NYers shouldn't bother with Italian here because there's so much great Italian in NY, but I think the approach to Italian in SF is quite different.

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            Perbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1. re: deeg

              Thanks for reporting back! It was really fun to read about your experience; makes me want to head to Perbacco again.

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              Perbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111