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Our last trip to SF for a while and I need to find a spectacular "last supper"

umwife11 Sep 19, 2010 08:35 PM

My husband is originally from San Francisco and in recent years, we've started a yearly tradition of heading out to the Bay Area at least once to visit family--and yes, watch his beloved 49ers :)

This year, we'll be there next month and just this week, we discovered it will be our last trip for a while (at least until our soon-to-arrive baby can handle a six-hour flight and heading across the country).

We've been fortunate enough in our recent trips out there to eat some pretty incredible meals, but needless to say, I'd like to make this trip our best one yet.

We'll be out there for a long weekend this time and so far, I've booked dinners at Zuni Cafe and Range. (I've also booked us a breakfast at Canteen on Sunday before we head out to Candlestick).

I'm looking for one more dinner and I keep debating whether to go with one of our old faves (either Gary Danko or Boulevard), or try something new. Right now, I'm leaning towards something new...I can't just figure out what yet.

I'm tempted by Water Bar, simply because the view looks amazing and if I can combine a good meal with some wonderful scenery, I'll take it. But I'm trying to stay away from seafood and shellfish right now since my tummy can be sensitive to those without being pregnant.

I know Ame is a Chowhound rave, but I don't know if my husband will go for that. He's not crazy about Japanese-influenced food and he's a pretty "safe" eater (a good steak goes a long way for him).

Any suggestions on a place for our last dinner out there? As I mentioned, we've both loved Boulevard and GD in the past, so that's the kind of food I'm looking for. We won't have a car, so something within SF proper would be best.

Thanks much!

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Gary Danko
800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

  1. Paul H Sep 25, 2010 05:28 PM

    For something new and memorable, consider Coi. Pix from a (very) recent meal there can be found here... http://www.flickr.com/photos/phomchic...

    373 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

    1. Cynsa Sep 21, 2010 05:52 AM

      Don't knock Ame off your list... it's a delight and offers menu options for the DH:
      -Grilled Kurobuta Pork Chop on Shelled Beans and Pork Jowl Ragu
      with Padron Peppers, Chicharrones and Saffron Aioli 34.
      -Grilled Breast of Liberty Farm Duck with Foie Gras and Duck Rillette Tortelloni,
      Succotash and Umbrian Truffle Game Sauce 36.
      -Grilled California Wagyu Beef Steak with Sauce Bordelaise,
      Gratin of Marrow Bone, Sautéed Chanterelles and String Beans 39.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cynsa
        PerfectPalate Sep 25, 2010 04:39 PM

        Sorry - yes, I meant Flour - not Flower. Happy holidays and dinning.

        1. re: Cynsa
          absc Sep 25, 2010 06:11 PM

          I had pork the last time I was at Ame and it was really wonderful.

        2. m
          ML8000 Sep 20, 2010 04:44 PM

          I'd book a favorite like Blvd one night...but use the last night to try something new and perhaps have a bigger pay-off. The newer/hotter restaurants like Frances, Benu, Commonwealth would provide that...a new memory if you will. There is "risk" so you have to ferret out menu, etc.

          If you want something safer, but still upscale like Danko, consider The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton. The other 4-star places to consider are Coi and La Folie...but you have to check the menu for your husband.

          22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

          2 Replies
          1. re: ML8000
            PerfectPalate Sep 20, 2010 05:11 PM

            Hi. I just spent 6 nights in SF (with much very useful advice from Chowhounds). By far the best place we ate at was Flower & Water - so good that we went there twice, the second time without a booking but well worth the wait. Every dish is fantastic We did eat at and enjoyed Commonwealth (will review it soon) but Flower & Water was that much more advanced in getting it right while Commonwealth is still on the path - some great and some good dishes - although all at a great price. Both places are fairly loud and laid back but with great food. Enjoyed both far more than COI or Foreign Cinema. Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern was a great place for lunch - in case you are looking for something during daylight hours.

            373 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

            Foreign Cinema
            2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

            Tyler Florence Shop
            59 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA

            Wayfare Tavern
            558 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1. re: PerfectPalate
              JasmineG Sep 20, 2010 08:04 PM

              FYI for the OP if you're searching: it's Flour + Water. If you are a fan of pasta and pizza (both upscale SF versions) you'll like this place.

              The Dining Room and Commonwealth suggestions are both good ones, though I'd check menus first to see if they'll suit you.

          2. u
            umwife11 Sep 20, 2010 03:01 PM

            Everyone...thank you so much! Please keep the suggestions coming. I never imagined this would be such a hard meal to plan. I'm likely putting too much pressure on myself!

            I've drooled over the menu at Frances for weeks and I'm not surprised it was mentioned :) Of course, they're booked until, oh, a week after we're gone. But I'll keep checking every day in the vain hope that someone, somewhere, cancels.

            Oh, and Epic Roasthouse looks wonderful...if not for our last dinner in SF, perhaps for one of the other nights. Would anyone say it's better than Zuni or Range? For now, though, I think I'm going to go with Zuni for our first night, Range our second and Epic Roasthouse our last night.

            I'll be sure to report back once all is said and done...I'm already counting the minutes until our little one is here--and old enough to make the trip his parents' favorite city :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: umwife11
              bbulkow Sep 20, 2010 03:52 PM

              All reports of Epic are that it's very much down-food from Zuni and Range. Strong on looks, weak on food. As you say, looks good.

              Have you considered one of the big tasting menus, like The Dining Room At The Ritz Carleton? According to everyone, it's one of the steadiest most consistent great eats. Since it's been running so long, I bet you can get reservations, and it's a real "go out with a bang" thing compared to Zuni/Range/GD/the usual suspects.

              (With tasting menu places, you will typically call and say "no seafood" or whatever and they'll fit within your dietary restrictions, although "give me all steak" probably doesn't work)

              On a personal note, I have no idea what I'd do in your boots. I would probably do one nostalgic favorite (which is probably Boulevard for me even though I haven't been there in years), one big taste menu (TDRATRC or COI or Commis at the bar maximum tasting version), and one qunticential SF place like Delfina/Frances/SPQR/Commonwealth/Wayfare/Serpentine/Globe for lunch. Zuni would slide in as cocktails and oysters in the middle somewhere - that's got to be on my top 5 things about SF, although the other question - if you can have 5 last cocktails in SF, what would they be - is a whole new question.

              Zuni Cafe
              1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

            2. j
              johnw188 Sep 20, 2010 11:38 AM

              Would not recommend waterbar for a last SF meal. View is nice, food is average. Worth a visit if you're in the area, but not special enough for what you're looking for.

              1. openhelix Sep 20, 2010 11:18 AM

                If yor husband is a big steak fan, then check out Epic Roasthouse or the newly opened Alexander's. Epic is right next to Waterbar so you'll get the same great view though service can be hit or miss. The food at Alexander's ranks as one of my best meals ever but I've only been to the original spot in Cupertino. I don't think the SF location would disappoint.

                Epic Roasthouse
                369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

                1 Reply
                1. re: openhelix
                  nocharge Sep 21, 2010 02:09 AM

                  I'd take Alexander's over Epic in a split second even though Epic has views and a cooler location. The food at Alexander's is just great (but pricy).

                  Another possibility is Prospect, which is fairly new. It's from the team behind Boulevard but has a more contemporary and urban feel. Here is a very positive review in the SF Chronicle.

                  But if the main goal is a really good steak, I'd go with Alexander's.

                2. s
                  SouthToTheLeft Sep 19, 2010 11:44 PM

                  I second Frances, although it is not TRULY that unique. It is a fantastic meal, but I've had similar in New York.

                  My vote is for Commonwealth. Have a look at my review here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/727502

                  1. JasmineG Sep 19, 2010 11:41 PM

                    If you can get a reservation at Frances, it seems like the kind of place that you'd love, and it's new and a lot of fun (and with great food). I recently had a great meal at the new Wayfare's Tavern, and it seems like a good place for your husband (they have a great steak), though the food is less involved than Boulevard and Gary Danko. If you want more creative food, you could head across the bay to Commis, or see if you can get reservations at the new Benu (plenty of reviews of both on the board).

                    Gary Danko
                    800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                    22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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