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Where to have a chic, elegant, impressive gourmet lunch (preferably prix fixe) near Market Street./Union Square?

Hello there! My best friend and I are planning a shopping trip in San Francisco sometime in March (probably the week of March 21st). We're planning on hitting up Nordstrom, Macy's, Neimans, etc, and would love to have a memorable, beautiful lunch in the middle of the day. Cost isn't much of an issue; neither of us minds paying more for an excellent, high quality meal! We especially like American classic, French, and Italian food, but we're open to all sorts of suggestions! (I myself like sushi and seafood as well; not sure about her.) I personally think a place with a great prix fixe menu would be wonderful, but that's not a must. We would also like to go to a restaurant with great atmosphere, where we can sit comfortably and drink a cocktail or glass of wine and chat for a while. Please let me know which places might fit the bill, and thanks so much in advance!

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  1. I highly recommend the following restaurants. Please note that not all of these suggestions are on Market or in Union Square. I feel you will not be disappointed by an extra drive.

    Luce: http://www.lucewinerestaurant.com/ Comfortable and delicious. A great place to drink wine.

    Zuni Cafe: http://www.zunicafe.com/menus.html Their roasted chicken with bread salad for two is renowned among the foodie community and well worth the time it takes to cook. Have a glass of Lillet and any of their beautiful salads during the wait.

    Le Charm: http://www.lecharm.com/lunchmenu.php For French bistro food, as the name suggests. I think their coq au vin and tarte tatin are scrumptious and quite well priced.

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    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jadore

      Zuni is easily a 15 minute drive / cab on a shopping day. There are a lot of lights between union square and there - I always think "it's just 10 blocks" and then "man that's a long way". If you're driving yourself, the repark is annoying - there aren't many pay lots near zuni. If you're going to recommend Zuni, Slanted Door would be in range too - just interesting enough.

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      Zuni Cafe
      1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

      1. re: bbulkow

        I've yet to try Slanted Door; I'll remember that next time I'm in California.

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        Slanted Door
        Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

        1. re: bbulkow

          What about the F Market streetcar to Zuni?

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          Zuni Cafe
          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

        2. re: Jadore

          Have you been to Luce since Dominique Crenn left to open her own restaurant?

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            No, I've been out of state. Has it slipped?

        3. Try Cafe Claude.

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          Cafe Claude
          7 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. are you frickin' kidding? U Sq. is ground central for classic shoppers lunch. I would personally wander over to someplace on one of the alleys, (Belden, Claude) prix fixe? - don't hold your breath. but you can do well.

            1. The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus would seem like a good fit.

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              The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus
              150 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

              1. How about Perbacco?

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                Perbacco
                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                1. You would probably enjoy
                  http://www.lecentralbistro.com/

                  1. The Rotunda at Neiman's is a perfect location for a chic lunch downtown. Gorgeous setting under the huge stained glass ceiling. The food is always good. Request one of the small booths.

                    http://www.thesluicebox.com/

                    1. Thank you all for the suggestions; please keep them coming. Ignore the prix fixe request; I realize now that that's pushing our luck. And I don't mind if you recommend more places outside of our shopping area! Thanks again.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Fabulous Girl

                        Prix fixe options would have been more doable during Dine About Town, which will happen again in June, in case you find yourself going back to SF in the summer. You can still have a fine lunch and afford to go shopping afterward, if you take the time to go over the menus beforehand. I also recommend that generally speaking, you make your reservations at least two weeks ahead.

                      2. Boulevard should fill the bill quite nicely.

                        http://www.boulevardrestaurant.com/

                        1. When my friends and I want a nice lunch at Union Square, we go to the Rotunda at NM. I much prefer the food at Zuni, but wouldn't want to spend the time getting there and back, even on a streetcar. If you don't mind spending the time to voyage somewhere else, by all means consider or Perbacco - you can walk to Perbacco from Union Square in about 15 to 20 minutes. Have fun!

                          -----
                          Zuni Cafe
                          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                          Perbacco
                          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111