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Restaurant itinerary for 4.5 day San Francisco/Napa Valley visit - look good?

f
foodievisitingSF Jun 22, 2010 06:50 PM

Hello!

We will be visiting San Francisco in July and have to make some tough eating decisions. I would be very grateful for any advice/comments/suggestions/warnings you may have about our proposed itinerary. In addition to good meals at the places I've suggested below, I will be on the hunt for excellent sweets (ice cream, baking, chocolates, etc) throughout the city and would love your suggestions.

Huge thanks in advance. Chowhounders have never let me down!

Wednesday
Brunch at Dottie's True Blue Cafe
Dinner at Frances (can't get a reservation, may try to go at 5 and get seats at the bar)

Thursday - NAPA
Lunch at Taylor's refresh
Dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni

Friday
Breakfast at Tartine
Lunch - burrito in the mission?
Dinner at Zuni

Saturday
Brunch at Ferry Building Market
Dinner at A16

Sunday
Brunch at Canteen

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Dottie's True Blue Cafe
522 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Bistro Don Giovanni
4110 Howard Ln, Napa, CA

  1. CarrieWas218 Jun 22, 2010 06:59 PM

    For ice cream, you should head to Humphry Slocumbe, also in the Mission, although Bi-Rite makes a kick-ass Burnt Caramel, Humphry Slocumbe makes consistently more interesting flavors.

    Chocolate-wise, you can't do better than Recchuiti in the Ferry Plaza.

    Other than that, I think your itinerary looks just fine, although you are going to be a heck-of-a-lot of driving to get up to Taylor's Refresher just for lunch. Don't bother with a beef burger - go for the Ahi with ginger slaw.

    1. Ruth Lafler Jun 22, 2010 07:49 PM

      What are your overall plans for Napa? Because honestly just those food choices aren't worth the drive, especially since there's a Taylor's outpost in the Ferry Building. Bistro Don Giovanni probably isn't in the top 20 restaurants in the Napa Valley, so it seems like an odd choice for your only meal there.

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      Bistro Don Giovanni
      4110 Howard Ln, Napa, CA

      4 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        CarrieWas218 Jun 22, 2010 09:02 PM

        Ruth makes a great point. Neither restaurant is really worth the drive while there *are* some exceptional eats in Napa; Ad Hoc, Jeanty, Ubuntu...

        Or, if you are more into the winery thing, grab a snack at Dean & Deluca or Oakville grocery and picnic outside.

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        Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
        1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

        Ad Hoc
        6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          mariacarmen Jun 23, 2010 01:02 PM

          It's not Taylor's anymore in the Ferry Building, it's something else... And I agree that Don Giovanni isn't the best to be had in Napa, although it is good. I would do Jeanty or Ad Hoc or Bouchon.

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          Ad Hoc
          6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

          Bouchon
          6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

          1. re: mariacarmen
            Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2010 04:36 PM

            They had to change the name, due to a dispute with the owners to the rights of the name, but that's all that's changed.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              wolfe Jun 23, 2010 04:44 PM

              Gott's Roadside "Tray Gourmet"
              In San Francisco the road it is beside is The Embarcadero.

        2. m
          ML8000 Jun 22, 2010 07:55 PM

          FYI: Taylors changed their name to Gott's Gourmet Tray (or similar). Their burgers are okay but nothing special. A lot of people like their ahi burger but personally I don't...ahi on bread to me is goofy. Don't know where you're from but perhaps a taco truck in Napa might be fun but one lunch isn't anything to sweat about. Everything else looks good, seems like you'll have a fun time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ML8000
            wolfe Jun 23, 2010 04:47 PM

            It is thought that it is a play on words the word being tres as in our hamburgers are tres gourmet.

          2. k
            kgdoll Jun 23, 2010 12:42 AM

            I am a big fan of Mustard's Grill in Napa, plus I don't think it's outrageously priced. Happy hunting!

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            Mustard's Grill
            7399 Saint Helena Hwy, Napa, CA 94558

            4 Replies
            1. re: kgdoll
              f
              foodievisitingSF Jun 23, 2010 04:43 AM

              Hi everyone, maybe we should rethink our napa choices. We are going to Napa to do a couple of tours but also just to explore the towns. I originally was thinking of either Martini House or Bottega but a friend who's been to napa many times suggested Don Giovanni as "an old favourite." I'm certainly not tied to Taylor's Refresher - I thought it might just be nice to get something quick and casual if we're going to have a more proper sit down dinner.

              Napa favourites instead of DG?

              And if we lunch in the mission one day any mexican must-trys?

              Huge thanks for your insights!!

              -----
              Martini House
              1245 Spring St., St. Helena, CA 94574

              Bottega
              6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

              1. re: foodievisitingSF
                CarrieWas218 Jun 23, 2010 07:26 AM

                Where are you visiting from? I have eaten at Don Giovanni a number of times and it is quite decent and is a an "old favorite" (meaning, they haven't changed much over the years), but we here in San Francisco are very jaded and are always expecting something new and different. Depending on where you are coming from, Don Giovanni might be exceptional for you and be just fine.

                Both Martini House and Bottega are quite good as well. There is a reason Don Giovanni has been open as long as it has and you can take some consolation from that. I've never had a bad meal there.

                Taylors (now Gott's) is fun because of its novelty; you get your burger and can order wine from a 1950s-like stand and eat outside on benches with umbrellas, etc. For what you want -- quick and casual -- it is sufficient. Or, you can go with my previous suggestion of grabbing picnic items from either Oakville or Dean & Deluca, both of which are also quick and casual. Do you have your tours set? That could help us tell you where to dine so you aren't having to drive back-and-forth too much.

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                Martini House
                1245 Spring St., St. Helena, CA 94574

                Bottega
                6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

                1. re: CarrieWas218
                  Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2010 09:27 AM

                  My issue with Gott's is that it's expensive. Lunch for two can easily set you back $30, which is a lot for fast food.

                2. re: foodievisitingSF
                  mariacarmen Jun 23, 2010 01:06 PM

                  I loved Martini House - i would do that before Don Giovanni. And I agree with CarrieWas - Dean and DeLucca is a great option for an in-between wineries nosh.

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                  Martini House
                  1245 Spring St., St. Helena, CA 94574

              2. wolfe Jun 23, 2010 05:18 PM

                Any word now that chef Stephen Barber has officially left his three-star Napa restaurant, BarbersQ.

                1. JasmineG Jun 23, 2010 05:49 PM

                  I've had good meals at BarbersQ, but that would not be my recommendation for the only dinner in Napa Valley. I've had better meals at Ubuntu, Ad Hoc, Bouchon, and Bottega, all already mentioned.

                  -----
                  Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
                  1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

                  Ad Hoc
                  6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                  Bottega
                  6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

                  Bouchon
                  6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                  1. f
                    foodievisitingSF Jun 24, 2010 04:18 AM

                    Hi everyone, we're visiting from Toronto - so we are lucky to have many fabulous restos here.

                    I think I will probably change our dinner reservation maybe back to Bottega or something else, I will look around at previous Napa threads.

                    Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it!

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                    Bottega
                    6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

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