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Best Dish at Gary Danko?

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Hello, all! I just moved down to San Francisco from Portland, OR, and am having a dinner at Gary Danko next Wednesday to celebrate both the move and my birthday. I was wondering what some of the best, can't-miss dishes are... Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and thanks in advance!

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

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  1. Years ago and I mean years. I reconnected with one of my best friends and her husband. I took them to Gary Danko. They have gone back for their anniversary many times. I would go with the tasting menu. If not trust the sommelier and do the cheese plate. Plus anything they do with Scollops is going to be great. Problem is dishes are going to change all the time with the season. The way it should be. I would say go for it do the tasting and Happy Birthday.

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

    1. Gary Danko's greatest virtue is it's high level of reliability. It is a good pick for a highly anticipated special occasion, because they are highly professional and unlikely to have missteps that ruin the evening. It is not the most exciting restaurant of the moment, but it is a very low risk proposition for a special occasion.

      I was there last month for my parents' 50th anniversary and the meal could not be faulted. The service was extremely professional without being stuffy. Based on that visit, I recommend ordering the caviar service. The price is very fair ($95 for one oz. of Black Sea Osetra) and the blini that come with the caviar are outstanding. The seafood risotto always seems to please whoever orders it, as does the foie gras. The roast lobster is a perennial favorite and was enjoyed by everyone at our table who ordered it. I enjoyed the asparagus salad and the Guinea Hen.

      Though I am a fan of their cheese cart, and the cheeses are served in perfect condition, the cheeses on the cart are no longer at the cutting edge. Other restaurants are sourcing more unusual cheeses. If you are not super familiar with artisan cheeses, the offering will be exciting. If you are a real cheese head, there's a good chance that the cart may only include one or two cheeses that you have not yet tried.

      One of the nice things about Gary Danko is that you do not have to order one of each course. You could, hypothetically, have a five course meal in which every dish is drawn from the appetizer list or the seafood list. You designate one as your "meat" course, and it will be larger than the others. I have a friend who has done this with the foie gras, to hilarious effect. If you do this, I recommend against doing it with the softshell crab, as one of our party did. When it is inflated to "meat" course size, the softshell crab and accompanying grits are simply too rich. It's also a pretty homogenous dish that can grow tiresome in quantity.

      You need not bother with the tasting menu. It is simply the chef's selection of five courses from the regular menu. There is nothing on it that is any different from the items on the regular menu, and it is the same price as the regular five course option. Its sole advantage is the availability of the wine pairing, at $67 per person. I'm happier getting to choose my dishes and limiting myself to a couple of wines for the meal.

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

      1. I'm from Portland and my wife and I had an anniversary dinner there about 7 years ago. We both had the tasting menu and pretty much ordered different dishes so we could sample more dishes. Everything was great, but the one dish we both ordered was the glazed oysters in lettuce cream. I still remember that dish and prepared a similar recipe for New Year's Eve this past year for my wife and her parents. The lettuce is braised and pureed into a cream sauce. The oysters are briefly poached in the cream and topped with a dollop of caviar. It was heaven. If I lived in SF I would be eating this weekly. To go to GD and not eat this would be a missed opportunity.