Need suggestions for $150 gift certificate
I would like to purchase a $150 gift certificate for my friends, a husband and wife who let my wife and me stay at their place for four days during a recent visit to San Francisco. Unfortunately, I don't know much if anything about their culinary preferences. They are in their early 30s and live in the Marina district. I'd like a restaurant that is interesting and exciting, not an old-school place. But it should still be nice enough that it's some place they wouldn't otherwise go to without a $150 gift certificate (which need not cover the entire meal, but get them close to it). Nothing too experimental or overly one-dimensional, since I don't know their particular preferences. It doesn't have to be close to where they live, though it should probably be within a reasonable driving distance. I don't know enough about the city's dining scene to know where to start. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Ame is somewhat experimental, but I have NEVER met a person who didn't love it. 3 courses before tax, beverage, and tip is about $65/p, so that should probably be in your ballpark. More expensive, I would send them to La Folie - Provencal French and, imo, the best restaurant in the city. $75-$95+/person before tax, tip and beverage.
2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Well now you've met someone who didn't love Ame - liked, a bit over priced, but not love.
I've been back to La folie many times and always delighted but don't plan to go back to Ame after my first visit (not that it wasn't good just much better choices for value at other places). JMHO
My favorites in the city for upscale are La folie (which is excellent food and a more lively setting than my next suggestion ) and The Dining Room at the Ritz. TDR might be "old school" in decoration but NOT in food. It is an incredibly romantic setting (if that matters) - $150 could just about cover dinner, but not drinks (if they got the 3 or 4 course dinner, not the degustation menu). There are lots of lower priced places, but are they the sort of people for whom this would be more than they would usually spend and therefore a very special opportunity.
OTOH - if you want to leave it up to them you could just give them a gift card (Amex or such) and let them make the choice VBG
It would help a lot if you indicated if you wanted a noisy "happening" neighborhood place or a more "special occasion" out of the ordinary experience - we've got lots of both!
What about SPQR or A16? Both good places and in their neighborhood, and $150 should cover their meals. If you know that they like heading up to Napa, you could get them a gift certificate to a place up there, like Bouchon or Ad Hoc.
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123
6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599