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Oct 18, 2010 02:52 PM

Just another food geek tourist looking for advice

OK. I’ve studied the posts, added many sites to my favorite places, have a few pages of notes and a general sense of what I want to eat and where I want to go. In all honesty, the myriad Asian offerings are making me drool, as is the chance to drink Moonlight, Russian River, and Bear Republic beers. Tomorrow’s the big day and I still have one nagging question to answer. Where should we go for dinner on Thursday night that might have a little "wow"?

The meal will be a “splurge on a budget.” Here are the parameters:

$40 or so per person.

Chef owned – Mom and Popish, perhaps?

Good value wines. You know a couple of $40 or less bottles that I won’t feel cheap ordering.

I will be comfortable without a tie (maybe even in jeans?).

No Italian.

So, where would you go?

Thanks, in advance, for any thoughts or suggestions and for all the information you have already shared in previous threads.

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  1. Are there places that you have been considering? FYI, you will be comfortable without a tie in pretty much every single restaurant in San Francisco (and comfortable in jeans in all but maybe one or two -- and people wear jeans at those places too).

    Until you said no Italian I was going to say La Ciccia. Therefore I'd say Canteen, but check immediately to see if you can get a reservation.

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

    1. Perhaps also the Richmond or Aziza?

      1. Hate to be cynical, but $40.00 meals in SF is no "splurge" is merely a fairly good meal on a budget.

        2 Replies
        1. re: OldTimer

          Yup, 10 years ago you could get out of a nice (but not hot) neighborhood place for $65-ish + tip for 2. That seems to have gone up to around $85-ish to $100.

          The rule of thumb I use is double the price of medium priced entree. Example, $26 entree x 2 = $52 x 2 = $104. So for $40, you're looking at $10 entrees. That's a ballpark but it seems to be pretty good indication. Tax is near 10% and there's a "healthcare service charge" in SF.

          1. re: OldTimer

            $40 per is just a reference to the food cost. I was thinking there might be some 3 or 4 course offerings in that range. I could find them in NY or Philly. $150 or so with wine and tip (and taxes).

          2. It would really help to know what else you're considering.

            Also, no one in SF wears ties. no one. I've been at a lot of business meetings, a lot of great restaurants, no one wears ties. I take it back: I saw a guy wearing a tie last week, notably so. You will feel uncomfortable *with* a tie just about anywhere. TFL requires jackets, but not ties.

            You might try Plum in Oakland. Very near the oakland BART station. New and exciting, small plates so you can keep the price down or drive the price up :-), great "flask" wines, true california cuisine, great bar seats watching the kitchen,and you can talk to your friends about it because it's new and hip. Jeans are fine.

            [Oakland is a good idea because you can trip down to The Trappist, which is about 9 blocks south, a very very excellent belgian specialist]

            Namu might be a good choice, and Canteen comes up a lot.

            439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

            1 Reply
            1. re: bbulkow

              I'm predominently considering less typical ethnic offerings. The Lers Ros menu, for example, has entranced me. Also, collecting ingredients that are not really available on the East Coast to cook myself. I live a half mile from the Atlantic, but fresh sardines or anchovies are practically unheard of items. Thus, one not too pricey "wowish" outing is still being debated.

            2. Chapeau does an early bird fixed priced menu on Thursday for $28 (you have to dine between 5 and 6) that would fit your criteria perfectly. Reservations are through opentable, and last I checked it's pretty popular so I'd recommend booking early.

              CHAPEAU! EARLY BIRD

              Mesclun Salad with Crème Dijonnaise, Red Seedless Grapes, Pistachio, Fried Camembert & Walnut Bread


              Soup of the Day


              Traditional Escargots de Bourgogne in Butter, Parsley & Garlic


              Trio of Salmon

              Gravlax, Tartar & Caviar, Egg Mimosa, Fried Capers & Crème Fraîche, Micro Herbs with Lemon Dressing


              Prince Edward Island Mussels

              Steamed with White Wine, Shallot & Parsley, Pommes Frites & Rouille


              Louisiana Gulf Wild Flounder, Mashed Potatoes, Braised Leeks, P.E.I. Mussels & Manila Clams, Asparagus en Tranches, Mussels-Saffron Sauce


              Pan Seared Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast, Creamy Truffled Polenta, Salsifies, Pears & Grapes, Green Peppercorn Sauce


              Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, Gratin Dauphinois, Spinach Soubise, Apple-Calvados Sauce




              Tahitienne Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée


              Basil Napoleon

              Maui Pineapple, Manilla Mango, Banana, Kiwi & Strawberries, Champagne-Citrus Pastry Cream, Feuille de Brique


              French Toast, Soft Caramel, Hazelnut Ice Cream
              ons,Jus de Poulet
              Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
              Parsnip Puree, Spinach Soubise, Apple-Calvados Sauce

              Available everyday but Fridays & Saturdays,
              From 5:00PM to 6:00PM

              CHANGES EVERY 2 WEEKS

              126 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

              1 Reply
              1. re: johnw188

                Thanks, that's the sort of thing I was missing.