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San Francisco Napa Valley for the first time

BeverlyE Jul 28, 2010 07:20 PM

We are traveling to San Francisco and Napa for 1 week at the beginning of August and are looking for suggestions - we love good food! We are staying at the Omni in Union Square
I have made reservations for all nights but one. Please let me know what you think. I would love suggestions and advice.
Friday- dinner at Zuni
Sat - brunch Dotties True Blue Cafe dinner- Perbacco
Sunday- brunch? dinner-Frances? ( don't have a reservation)
Monday- Dinner- Chez Panisse Cafe

Tuesday- Napa (staying at Bardessono in Yountville breakfast is included) Dinner - Bottega
Wed -Dinner -Bouchon
Thursday- Dinner Morimoto

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

6526 Yount Street, Yountville, CA 94599

610 Main Street, Napa, CA

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  1. grayelf RE: BeverlyE Jul 29, 2010 07:24 AM

    Hi BeverlyE! As a fellow gastrotourist who has had the pleasure of visiting SF Bay Area a few times recently, I wanted to make sure you are aware of the crazy lines at Dottie's. We tried to get in three times, going really early, before we could stomach the still-25-minutes wait. I would imagine on Sat at brunch it would be much longer.

    1. myst RE: BeverlyE Jul 29, 2010 07:56 AM

      There is a lot of great ethnic food in SF. I would look into including a lunch or two outside of the california/italian cuisine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: myst
        Eugene Park RE: myst Jul 29, 2010 08:59 AM

        Yes, some ideas of what type of cuisine you're interested in would make recs easier. Budget too would be helpful. Some folks like to "go big" every meal, while others want to mix inexpensive into their itinerary.

        It might be interesting to eat at Ame as a comparison to Morimoto.

        610 Main Street, Napa, CA

      2. CarrieWas218 RE: BeverlyE Jul 29, 2010 03:19 PM

        Do you know that without a reservation at Frances you should get there when they open? And then you will be seated at the bar. (Which is what I did and thoroughly enjoyed the experience).

        1. n
          njtaylor2001 RE: BeverlyE Aug 8, 2010 11:03 AM

          Definitely go early or late for dinner at Frances or your chances of getting in will be low. You might try Tra Vigne for lunch up in Napa Valley. If it's a sunny day sitting in the courtyard is lovely and the food is great.

          Tra Vigne Restaurant
          1050 Charter Oak, St. Helena, CA 94574

          5 Replies
          1. re: njtaylor2001
            rruben1 RE: njtaylor2001 Aug 8, 2010 11:12 AM

            My wife and I had dinner at Farmstead a few weeks ago. The sevice was wonderful, the room, beautiful, and the dinner was one of the best we've enjoyed on our seven trips to Napa and Sonoma. Clean, distinct, fresh flavors, well-executed dishes, and a very nice wine list. Cook, in St. Helena, is a small, intimate, and wonderful dinner destination.
            I realize that it isn't a foodie favorite, necessarily, but if you have an open lunch in the Napa Valley, and you don't go to the Rutherford Grill, with its fantastic food and free corkage for local wines, you are missing the boat. Simple food: The roast chicken sandwich, the incredible veggie burger (which even meat-eaters can love) the skillet cornbread, the insane cole slaw---I can't imagine a trip without a stop there.

            Rutherford Grill
            1180 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558

            1. re: rruben1
              CarrieWas218 RE: rruben1 Aug 8, 2010 04:29 PM

              This little unknown thing about Rutherford Grill is that it is nothing more than a Houston's in disguise. There are not allowed to be any "chain" restaurants in the valley so the corporate entities come up with new names and slight changes to standard chain menus.

              That's why a lot of us locals don't usually recommend it, while many visitors do.

              Rutherford Grill
              1180 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558

              1. re: CarrieWas218
                rruben1 RE: CarrieWas218 Aug 14, 2010 01:12 AM

                I've eaten at quite a few Houston's restaurants. The Rutherford Grill has a different menu than Houston's---in fact, there is virtually NO similarity at all. The quality of the ingredients, the style of cooking and seasoning, the items on the menu--they are all completely different. So the disguise is pretty complete: They disguised it with good food, a nice ambience, a totally different menu, a free corkage policy. They disguised it with local produce, a terrific local wine list, and a well-maintained wood burning rotisserie. That's a pretty good disguise?
                As for "you locals" not recommending it, I GOT there because a local chef told me to go there, on my second visit to Napa, five years ago. And he was right: Their roast chicken is exemplary, their cornbread, excellent, their cole slaw is to die for, and their wood-grilled artichoke was perfect.
                Your post, on the other hand, was local chauvinism at its worst, showed little or no knowledge of the actual Houston's menu or preparation of food, and wasn't really very nice.

                Rutherford Grill
                1180 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558

                1. re: rruben1
                  CarrieWas218 RE: rruben1 Aug 14, 2010 07:08 AM

                  With all due respect, I *have* eaten at Houstons. More times than I care to admit (business lunches).

                  And while they may have changed the menu, many of us find Rutherford Grill over-seasoned and kitschy. I have had that very artichoke AND chicken and I had to scrape the salt off the choke and sent the chicken back for being raw in the middle. I found the ambience loud with rude servers and busboys who were more on top of refilling water than the actual waitresses who were more attune to the table of single men than middle-aged women. It was so bad I brought all of it (the food and the service) to the attention of the manager who, after confirming it firsthand himself, comped my meal and asked me to return. I never bothered.

                  I am truly glad you had a wonderful experience. Perhaps they have corrected those issues which I -- and many others -- have been subjected to.

                  Rutherford Grill
                  1180 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558

              2. re: rruben1
                Indy_Foodie RE: rruben1 Aug 16, 2010 11:11 AM

                Rutherford Grill = Prime Rib French Dip = YUM!

                Rutherford Grill
                1180 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558

            2. ChefJune RE: BeverlyE Aug 15, 2010 08:53 AM

              For us, no visit to Napa Valley is complete without lunch or dinner at Bistro Jeanty. Really delicious food and warm welcome. ;)

              Bistro Jeanty
              6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

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