HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Saison, Benu, The Dining Room at the Ritz, Gary Danko, La Folie, Chez Panisse or Fleur de lys?

Traveling to SF to catch our favorite opera and will need your suggestions. Please help us choose two tasting menus on consecutive nights from the restaurants listed in the title. Perhaps the restaurants below can guide your choices.

Restaurants that we've really enjoyed before:
Le chateaubriand,FR
Cyrus
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, FR
Manresa
Melisse
The Modern
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Schwa
L20
COI
REDD

Places that we thought were disappointing:
Alinea
Pierre Gagnaire, FR
Urasawa

-----
Manresa Restaurant
320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Coi
373 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

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

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

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

Saison
2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

Benu
22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. a Berserkly eatery made your list ; if the east bay is under consideration, did you consider Commis ?

    -----
    Commis
    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

    1 Reply
    1. re: moto

      We did. We only have two nights available and narrowed our choices based on our schedule. We will definoitely hit Commis at a later date.

      -----
      Commis
      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

    2. Benu and Saison are modern and first class, more like Manresa and Coi on your list. Chez Panisse is Chez Panisse and always good but not revelatory any more. Danko, according to recent reports, is the same old, same old, unchallenging big night out place.

      I would do Benu, for sure, and Saison.

      Does FR mean France? as opposed to Las Vegas?

      -----
      Manresa Restaurant
      320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

      Chez Panisse
      1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

      Saison
      2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

      Benu
      22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      1 Reply
      1. re: Thomas Nash

        Yes, FR was in reference to France. I prefer to hit the buffets when I am in Vegas. After gaming, that's all I can about afford.

      2. Absolutely agree with the choice of Benu. Ate there last night -- the 18-course tasting menu -- and it was spectacular. Everything was prepared & presented perfectly - A few highlights: oyster, pork belly and kimchi was smoky salty with a hint of heat; chicken in a delicate jasmine broth with little balls of dates that added a touch of sweet to the fragrance; foie gras xiao long bao were exquisite little soup dumplings-- the whole effect was like a puff of chewiness, a burst of liquid, a bare hint of foie. I won't go on -- too many dishes, obviously -- but it was a treasure of little tastes and textures, luscious without relying on fat and salt. I wasn't sure I could withstand all the courses -- tasting menus often go on long past my appetite and patience -- but every single one was welcome, satisfying and delightful.

        -----
        Benu
        22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        1. Are u aware TDR will be closing mid-Sept and opening with a different concept? Might be your last chance to enjoy Seigels food in its current form - if you'll be here before then.

          1. I am replying to your post solely because I too had a so-so experience with Pierre Gagnaire and also am a fan of Joel Robuchon. I too did not find Urasawa to be of 2* calibre, considering Sushi Yasuda ( before departure of Yasuda San ), IMO one of the best Japanese eatery in North America, was not even a 1*!!

            To your list, I would like to add 'Masa's". One of the most enjoyable meal in my life. The Venison loin was out of this world!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Charles Yu

              Was your visit to Masa's recent? If so, would you mind posting a full report? Masa's keeps falling through the cracks, and I'm not sure why -- when people do go and report back it's always positive (I have a sentimental attachment to Masa's because it was the site of my first really fancy dinner for my 30th birthday).

              -----
              Masa's Restaurant
              648 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

            2. I would choose Benu and Saison, especially since consecutive nights they are different enough to keep you interested both nights.

              -----
              Saison
              2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

              Benu
              22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

              1 Reply
              1. re: Scott M

                i'd also suggest these two, given the other places you've tried/liked before.

              2. .....liked Schwa and L2o but didn't like Alinea or Gagnaire.....um.....wow.

                I'm really lost as to how to put that into perspective.

                Regardless, I'd skip The Dining Room.

                http://endoedibles.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: uhockey

                  with multiple visits to Manresa and The Dining Room I have to say my experiences have been quite different from yours. At my last visit to Manresa I was served 3 courses with an egg as a major component when choosing the chefs menu (something I found exceptionally unpleasant and repetitive) - I have not experienced the repetition you noted at TDR on any of my visits - so clearly individual experiences vary;)

                  -----
                  Manresa Restaurant
                  320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030