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Four Great SF Restaurants Needed

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JHW Mar 18, 2011 11:52 AM

We have not been to SF in about five years. I would like to know if you had only four dinners in SF where would they be? Quality of food and food presentation are the only criteria. What say you?

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  1. m
    Michael Rodriguez RE: JHW Mar 18, 2011 01:19 PM

    Coi. The dining room at the Ritz-Carlton. Tadich. Zuni Cafe.

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    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    3 Replies
    1. re: Michael Rodriguez
      mariacarmen RE: Michael Rodriguez Mar 18, 2011 01:35 PM

      Coi. Canteen. Range. La Ciccia.

      i know those middle two are really similar....

      Piperade.

      Bar Tartine.

      Delfina.

      Caffe Sociale

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

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

      Piperade
      1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111

      Sociale
      3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

      Bar Tartine
      561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1. re: mariacarmen
        j
        JHW RE: mariacarmen May 16, 2011 02:39 PM

        Thank you so much. We went to Delfina and had one of the best pizzas that we have ever eaten. We went to Caffe Sociale and had a very sophisticated dinner. Both choices outstanding. Thank you!

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

        Sociale
        3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

        1. re: JHW
          mariacarmen RE: JHW May 16, 2011 04:03 PM

          So glad you enjoyed! you are most welcome. what did you end up doing for your other two dinners?

    2. g
      goingoutagain RE: JHW Mar 18, 2011 02:02 PM

      My list is new/changed in the last 5 years

      Atelier Crenn
      Lafitte
      Aziza
      And I agree with Canteen on mariacarmen's list. (I also love Sociale, but don't think it's on the Great list.)

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      Sociale
      3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

      Atelier Crenn
      3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

      1 Reply
      1. re: goingoutagain
        mariacarmen RE: goingoutagain Mar 18, 2011 07:03 PM

        yeah, i struggled with including Sociale....
        I've never been to any of the places on your list! must catch up.

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        Sociale
        3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

      2. CarrieWas218 RE: JHW Mar 18, 2011 08:56 PM

        Aziza
        Saison
        Commis
        Piperade

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        Piperade
        1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111

        Commis
        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

        Saison
        2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

        1. w
          whiner RE: JHW Mar 18, 2011 09:05 PM

          Is price really not an issue?

          If quality of food and food presentation are the only criteria with no accounting for price:

          Coi (more of an 'experience' than a traditional restaurant)
          Ame
          La Folie
          The Dining Room at the Ritz

          A friend of mine just started serving at Atelier Crenn and is raving about it and showed me pictures of the food and it looked incredible, but I've not eaten there, so I do not know.

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

          Atelier Crenn
          3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

          2 Replies
          1. re: whiner
            j
            JHW RE: whiner Mar 20, 2011 03:50 AM

            Whiner: Thank you for your tips. I do not wish to throw away money nor does the great expensive of a dinner make me believe that because it was expensive that it must have been good. I do not believe that expense equates to goodness. It may allow for more unusual or scarce products to be used in a food preperation but that is about it. I live down the road from the CIA in Hyde Park NY and the young chefs are prone to unusual preperations in the belief that that means it will be good when nothing could be further from the truth.

            1. re: JHW
              w
              whiner RE: JHW Mar 20, 2011 04:27 AM

              JHW,

              My 4 favorite restaurants in SF are

              Ame (Expensive, Italian Japanese fusion. *Incredible*)
              Perbacco (Moderately priced Northern Italian with mind blowing pasta and mushroom dishes)
              La Folie (Very Expensive but relaxed atmosphere Provencal French)
              nopa (Moderately priced, young, casual, New CA with Mediterranean influences)

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              Perbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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

          2. Robert Lauriston RE: JHW Mar 19, 2011 10:10 AM

            Lers Ros
            Incanto
            La Ciccia
            Perbacco

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

            Perbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1. v
              vulber RE: JHW Mar 20, 2011 10:16 PM

              i'm not necessarily going with what best represents san francisco, but teh places i like to eat.

              aziza
              chapeau!
              spruce
              delfina

              1. j
                johnq RE: JHW Mar 20, 2011 10:29 PM

                My current top 3:

                Canteen
                Saison
                Benu

                All three serve food that's both interesting and excellent.

                There are probably a dozen or so I'd put on the next level. Most of them are listed above. One that isn't is Prospect.

                A warning re Dining Room at the Ritz: I haven't been to there for a year or so. It used to be excellent, and maybe still is, but the Chronicle's restaurant critic has fallen out of love with the place: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.... A year ago I might well have put it on this list, but for now I'd probably leave it off, at least until I get back there and see for myself.

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                Benu
                22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                2 Replies
                1. re: johnq
                  h
                  Hannamarie RE: johnq Mar 21, 2011 08:47 AM

                  How about Coi?

                  1. re: Hannamarie
                    mariacarmen RE: Hannamarie Mar 21, 2011 08:33 PM

                    I recommended Coi way up above... love that place.

                2. p
                  pauliface RE: JHW Mar 21, 2011 03:27 PM

                  At this very moment here is what I'd plan for a 4-night stint...

                  La Folie for French
                  Aziza for Modern Moroccan
                  Kappou Gomi or Ino Sushi or Kiss Seafood --> hard to pick -- for Japanese
                  Lolo for Turkish/Mexican

                  I do NOT recommend Coi or Frances

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pauliface
                    l
                    Larry Stein RE: pauliface Mar 22, 2011 09:19 AM

                    What were your issues with Frances? I've never been and have a res in a couple of months.

                    1. re: Larry Stein
                      p
                      pauliface RE: Larry Stein Mar 22, 2011 09:32 AM

                      Well, you should probably keep your reservation, just downgrade your expectations and you'll probably be all right.
                      I'm in the vast minority here.
                      To understand my issues, see this posting from a few months back:
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6784...

                  2. z
                    zin1953 RE: JHW Mar 21, 2011 08:54 PM

                    I'd pass on Coi (not my favorite), and I'd skip The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, based upon recent experiences/reports.

                    That said, I strongly second the recommendation of Atelier Crenn. I'm a big fan of Gary Danko, and La Folie. Also, I'd look at Quince or Cotogna. I'd suggest Yoshi's for great Japanese food (far beyond sushi -- though that's excellent, too), or Zushi Puzzle (but only if you sit at the sushi bar).

                    If you don't mind coming over the bridge, I'd strongly suggest Commis.

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

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

                    Zushi Puzzle
                    1910 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                    Commis
                    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                    Cotogna
                    490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                    Atelier Crenn
                    3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                    1. steve h. RE: JHW May 16, 2011 06:33 PM

                      I'm fond of La Folie. Not the prettiest of rooms but the food is exemplary. Pricey but worth every penny. Portions are generous so you need to bring an appetite. I like this place a lot.

                      Quince is a wonderful restaurant. Tusk knows how to cook, Lynch knows wines. Only a churl could cavil.

                      Lower on the price chain is Barbacco, spawn of Perbacco. I'm a big fan. Cotogna, next to Quince and part of the Tusk family, is outstanding for a rustic Italian meal. Everyone knows about this place so either arrive early or call for a reservation.

                      Pizza in San Francisco is not a joke. Maybe consider some quality time at Tony's Pizza Napoletana up in North Beach or Anthony Mangieri's Una Pizza Napoletana on 11th Street. Word is out on both places, and has been for some time, so plan accordingly.

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