HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Zuni Cafe or Jardiniere?

  • 9

I've narrowed it down to these two choices for an anniversary dinner. We will be visiting SF and would like to go someplace that really captures local cuisine. Something that we couldn't get in Boston (where we are from). Any advice? I'm leaning towards Jardiniere for the somewhat silly reason that I saw Traci Des Jardins on Top Chef and her food always looked amazing.

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Jardiniere doesn't hasn't gotten love on this board recently.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/768613

    1. Zuni; it's more san francisco.
      Add: Ame. Luce. Prospect.

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: bbulkow

        I ate at Luce once and it was a horrible dining experience. Almost 3 hours for a 2-course meal (with ~1.5 hours between clearing app dishes and receiving mains) and 3 of 5 main dishes came out lukewarm. The restaurant was 1/3 full and Dominique Crenn was in the kitchen that night. I thought I was on Hell's Kitchen.

        Is Crenn still @ Luce with the recently opened Altier Crenn? I thought she was great on Iron Chef and that's why we tried Luce, but it turned out to be . . . well, what I described above.

        This was on a Friday night. People came and went, but it never got close to being even 1/2 full.

      2. keep in mind they aren't really the same price range...

        1. Zuni is very more informal, lots of windows in a pointy-triangular building because it's on one of SF's crazy corners. People seem t particularly love the chicken, the polenta, and the oysters. It's not my favorite but I see why people like it, it's got a nice SF vibe & buzz. I do like the oysters and their cocktails.

          Jardiniere has a more special feel; indoors, darker, gorgeous space, (?slightly deco?), feels like more of an anniversary celebratory place. It was my favorite in the city for a while, but then their food slid a bit and I have not been in some time. Still, the food was very good last time I was there, and time has passed, and the chef is more in the public eye now. I'd be curious to try it again myself.

          I'd pick Jardiniere. (Note, as vulber said, Jardiniere is in a higher price bracket)

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: pauliface

            Oh. And looking at your original post again, I'd suggest Aziza.
            Uniquely San Francisco.
            Not a gorgeous a space like Jardiniere, but unique and delicious food. Also, brilliant cocktails.

          2. I agree that Jardiniere is more celebratory while Zuni is more San Francisco. I wouldn't normally consider Zuni for a special event, but it is somewhere I would send an out-of-towner; the exact opposite is true of Jardiniere.

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