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Looking for THAT restaurant in San Francisco and question about Healdsburg

honkman Oct 10, 2010 01:53 PM

My wife and I will travel for 2.5 weeks to San Francisco/Healdsburg/Yountville end of November/beginning of December and the journey will of course also include many good restaurants covering a wide array (e.g. multicourse high-end, more "neighborhood" like restaurants etc.). Currently we are trying to come up with our list of restaurants which include six restaurants for San Francisco. So far we have five places on our list but we can't really decide on the sixth one. We are looking for some kind of creative, relaxed restaurant (no high end multi-course since we have already a few on our trip, slow, relaxed service is important for us because even without a tasting menu we like to have long, relaxed (2-3 hours) dinners). Somehow we are not really sure what we are looking for ("hidden gem", "classical" SF restaurant) but open to every suggestion (Below is a list of the restaurants we are planning to visit to give a better idea.)

The second question is about restaurants in Healdsburg. We are looking for three restaurants (again no multi course high-end) and based on previous visits, CH posts, blogs we have a list of several restaurants but would like to get feedback which are the current board favorites.

Restaurants (in random order):

Coi
Chez Panisse
Aziza
Ritz-Carlton
Incanto
?
-------
Barndiva/Bistro Ralph/Scopa
Bistro 29/Mirepoix/Zazu
Syrah/Willy's
---------------
Ad Hoc
French Laundry
Redd
Ubuntu
------------------
Manresa

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  1. honkman RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 09:23 AM

    Anybody ?

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 09:28 AM

      How about Mochica (Peruvian), Maykadeh (Persian), or Jai Yun (Shanghai)?

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      Jai Yun
      680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Maykadeh Persian Cuisine
      470 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

      Mochica
      937 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

      5 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        s
        syrahgirl RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 11, 2010 10:44 AM

        Willi's Wine Bar in Santa Rosa is excellent! They have a sister restaurant in Healdsburg called Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar, I would try to get to both if possible. Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg is also very good, located in the Hotel Healdsburg. :)

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        Willi's Wine Bar
        4404 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

        Dry Creek Kitchen
        317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        Hotel Healdsburg
        25 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA

        1. re: syrahgirl
          honkman RE: syrahgirl Oct 11, 2010 12:52 PM

          We went to Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar two years ago and it was good. How different is the menu between the two places in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg ? (online menus are not always accurate)

          1. re: honkman
            Paul H RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 02:43 PM

            The menus for the two Willi's are substantially different, and may share no dishes at all (though this is from memory). In any event, both are good, though I prefer the Seafood and Raw Bar.

        2. re: Robert Lauriston
          honkman RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 11, 2010 01:04 PM

          Jai Yun sounds interesting. What's the current starting price for their prix-fixe menu (dinner)? I read somewhere it starts now at $80/person if you go with two people. Is this correct and is the food really worth this price ?

          Any asian inspired/ asian fusion restaurants which are worth a visit ?

          1. re: honkman
            Robert Lauriston RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 01:09 PM

            Might start at $55 a person now? To me it's a bargain given the level of cooking, the number of dishes you get, and no corkage.

            http://menuscan.com/jaiyun/message.html

        3. c
          celeryroot RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 12:13 PM

          Mosiac
          Scopa
          Diavola
          Spoonbar
          Dry Creek Kitchen
          Madrona Manor
          Healdsburg Bar and Grill
          in no specific order

          All in Healdsburg area
          Hope you have a great time

          -----
          Dry Creek Kitchen
          317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          Diavola
          21021 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA 95441

          Scopa
          109 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          Madrona Manor
          1001 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          2 Replies
          1. re: celeryroot
            k
            Kathleen M RE: celeryroot Oct 12, 2010 09:41 AM

            My husband ate at Mosaic and reported it was great (I had to work that night) but it's in Forestville, which is not too far from Healdsburg, but it would be a bit of a drive after eating and drinking. One place I really like in Healdsburg that I haven't seen mentioned is Ravenous. It's casual and low key, but the service is great and the food is spot on.

            For the OP: how far from Healdsburg did you want to venture? I noticed you listed Zazu, in Santa Rosa; and Mirepoix, in Windsor. Also, Chez Panisse is in Berkeley, not San Francisco. Will you have a car? How much driving were you thinking of doing?

            1. re: Kathleen M
              honkman RE: Kathleen M Oct 12, 2010 09:51 AM

              Yes ,we a have car and are willing to drive a bit for good food.

          2. k
            Kaypel RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 12:20 PM

            In SF, perhaps La Folie, Frascati or Kokkari?

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            La Folie
            2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

            Frascati Restaurant
            1901 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

            3 Replies
            1. re: Kaypel
              honkman RE: Kaypel Oct 11, 2010 01:28 PM

              We have looked at La Folie but we a little bit afraid when we heard numerous time that they have very large portions.

              What do people think about Zuni Cafe ? Are there other "classical" San Francisco places we shouldn't miss ?

              1. re: Kaypel
                honkman RE: Kaypel Oct 11, 2010 04:13 PM

                I looked more into La Folie. Their webpage is not really updated for a few years. It looks like they have 3-7 course tasting menu/prix fixe. Does anybody knwo their current prices ?

                1. re: honkman
                  j
                  johnw188 RE: honkman Oct 18, 2010 10:42 PM

                  At La Folie they basically have a big list of dishes and you build your menu. Three courses is $75, five is $95 (I believe, can't quite remember).

                  I would recommend going with a four course meal, including dessert (so three savory courses). They really do have large portions, but I almost can't fault it because everything is so amazingly good. The lobster appetizer contained pretty much an entire lobster tail and was the most succulent lobster I'd ever had. The seared foie was excellent as well (I wasn't such a fan of the torchon, but I've never really been a fan of cold foie dishes so that might be personal bias seeping through).

                  The menu on their website isn't exactly what's being served there now, but it gives a decent idea - it's all classic high end french cuisine.

                  I went a few weeks ago and had a great time, highly recommended.

                  -----
                  La Folie
                  2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

              2. t
                tom246 RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 01:50 PM

                Barndiva is turning out some excellent food in Healdsburg. Chef is ex French Laundry and Per Se and it shows. You won't be disappointed.
                We head out to Sonoma County every few months and Bardiva is a "must" for us each time.

                -----
                Barndiva
                231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                1. c
                  Calvinist RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 04:19 PM

                  I see you have Incanto -- but you might consider La Ciccia -- small, casual, excellent Sardinian. While they do get busy I have never felt rushed there.

                  -----
                  La Ciccia
                  291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Calvinist
                    honkman RE: Calvinist Oct 11, 2010 05:12 PM

                    Since we both like Italian food a lot (and there are not really good options in San Diego) we were looking among other things into filling our last dinner spot with an Italian restaurant (Incanto seems to be more Italian influences). There seem to be many good options like La Ciccia, A16, Delfina, Aquarello. What would be the best options in terms of quality and authenticity ?

                    1. re: honkman
                      JasmineG RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 05:20 PM

                      I'd vote for La Ciccia. I always have wonderful meals there, and everyone I've sent there has gone back repeatedly. Great and interesting food, in a cozy and warm environment.

                      -----
                      La Ciccia
                      291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                      1. re: JasmineG
                        Ruth Lafler RE: JasmineG Oct 11, 2010 07:58 PM

                        La Ciccia was going to be my suggestion as well, for just the reasons you listed.

                        -----
                        La Ciccia
                        291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                      2. re: honkman
                        s
                        sfgirl22 RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 05:41 PM

                        If you're looking for a leisurely dining experience I'd skip A-16 - the last time I was there we felt horribly rushed - the hostess asked us 3 times if we were sure our guest would be there soon (this was at 5:55 for a 6 pm reservation). She was. This was followed by a waitress coming by every two minutes to get our order after our wine arrived (I think we'd been at the table about 10 minutes as this point) until after the 3rd or 4th attempt I let her know I'd give her a nod when we were ready. The whole evening felt like they were simply waiting to turn our table (worked in restaurants for years so I know it when I see it). The topper - it was a Monday night.

                        1. re: honkman
                          c
                          Calvinist RE: honkman Oct 12, 2010 12:57 PM

                          I have been to La Ciccia, Delfina, and Aquarello. I like them all.

                          La Ciccia is my favorite for all the reasons the other posters have mentioned - and it's the closest to my house :-). And really, you don't get Sardinian just anywhere.

                          Delfina starts with good modern Italian roots and a lot of California influences. It would also be the busiest of the three.

                          Aquarello is small (but not as small as the other two) , a bit more formal, -- and would be (I think) the most leasurely of the three. Lovely Northern Italian in its orientation.

                          Really, I'd be happy to eat at any of these again.

                          -----
                          La Ciccia
                          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                          Delfina Restaurant
                          3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        2. re: Calvinist
                          mariacarmen RE: Calvinist Oct 11, 2010 10:43 PM

                          2nd La Ciccia. Delicious interesting food, cozy environment.

                          -----
                          La Ciccia
                          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                          1. re: mariacarmen
                            grayelf RE: mariacarmen Oct 12, 2010 11:37 AM

                            La Ciccia is a great way to spend an evening -- as visitors we've closed it down twice. As close to dining in someone's home as I've experienced in a restaurant.

                        3. honkman RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 09:41 PM

                          Many helpful ideas and suggestions and we are still looking through many blogs and posts on CH. One name which pops up quite often and also serves food from a region which is not that easily available in SD (or LA) is Piperade. Any opinions or recent reports ?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: honkman
                            mariacarmen RE: honkman Oct 11, 2010 10:45 PM

                            Been a few years but have always liked Piperade, and owner/chef is usually walking the floor talking to customers for that personal touch. Food is excellent, different, satisfying - and you can definitely sit there for hours.

                            -----
                            Piperade
                            1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111

                          2. f
                            Fats Burgundy RE: honkman Oct 12, 2010 08:49 AM

                            Re: La Folie.... I dined there about a year ago and while the food is very good the restaurant is somewhat dated and I had a dismal experience w/ billing (I paid half cash but they billed the full amount to my card). The duck confit there was probably the best I've had.

                            -----
                            La Folie
                            2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

                            1. j
                              jean8298 RE: honkman Oct 12, 2010 09:48 PM

                              For a casual Italian place in SF, I love Bar Bambino. Great menu, great service, knowledgable waitstaff, have never felt rushed there.

                              -----
                              Bar Bambino
                              2931 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jean8298
                                c
                                Calvinist RE: jean8298 Oct 19, 2010 01:20 PM

                                I liked the one meal I had at Bar Bambino. But we sat at one of the little tables in front. If I went again I'd make sure to get a seat in the back.

                                -----
                                Bar Bambino
                                2931 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                              2. t
                                tzigrrl RE: honkman Oct 29, 2010 08:26 PM

                                For Healdsburg -- definitely Barndiva. It is a must on our list of Sonoma restaurants.

                                -----
                                Barndiva
                                231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                                1. p
                                  Paolorichard RE: honkman Oct 29, 2010 08:37 PM

                                  Sons and Daugthers is that restaurant. They do an amazing 4 course dinner. The portion size is just perfect, never huge. It was one of my favorites from our trip 2 SF last week.

                                  Incanto and Delfina are also our regular stop. You really cant go wrong with either one. Delfina Pizzeria is also tops......

                                  When in Napa area, if your tired of the $200 lunch, check out Red Rock Cafe/Back Door BBQ. Its a small local spot...yummmmmmyyyyyyyyyyy

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