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Vancouverites 4 day SF food itinerary-please let me know what you think?

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selena03 Sep 27, 2011 11:24 AM

We will be in SF from a Thursday to Sunday and after researching previous posts have come up with an idea of where/what are lunches/dinners will be. I am expecting so my tastes as of late are towards comfort and no nonsense food. Not really looking for anything too complicated (i.e. no molecular gastronomy:). We like Italian (trattoria style food you would find in Rome and Campagnia-we especially like pasta), American, Thai, French (bistro/brasserie fare), and Mexican (we don't have good Mexican here in Van so don't really get to eat it very much).

So far this is what we have:
Dinner reservations at Gary Danko and the Slanted Door. We have 1-2 more dinner reservations to fill and are looking at either A16, Poesia's, Ideale, or Cotogna to fill one of them? Our reservations for Gary Danko are at 10 pm one of the nights so might need to change it to something else to have an earlier dinner unless you guys think it's a must try.

Lunch for one of the days will be in Napa at Bistro Jeanty only because I have eaten there before and loved it. Especially the tomato soup baked in pastry. Another will be at the Saturday farmers market. I had amazing fish tacos at a stand there last time we went but can't recall the name.

Breakfast will be a quick stop at Tartine Bakery on our way to Napa and an early Sunday breakfast at Canteen one of the days. Saturday we were planning on breakfast at the Farmers Market. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

A16
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

Ideale
1315 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

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

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Poesia
4072 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

Cotogna
490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: selena03 Sep 27, 2011 11:36 AM

    For me, Cotogna's easily the best of those Italian places, though I like them all a lot. Sort of Cal-Italian with no particular regional focus.

    Ideale for Roman trattoria, A16 for Campania-style pasta. Poesia's chef is Calabrese, they have some dishes I haven't seen elsewhere.

    BaoNecci for Roman-style pizza. Canelloni al forno reminded me of the general rule not to order pasta in a pizza place, though others have said good things about the pasta here.

    Have you been to La Ciccia? Sardinian. Wonderful.

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

    A16
    2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

    Ideale
    1315 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    Poesia
    4072 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

    Cotogna
    490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      s
      selena03 RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2011 01:46 PM

      Thanks Robert. Would you opt for Cotogna or La Ciccia over Gary Danko?

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

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

      Cotogna
      490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

      1. re: selena03
        Robert Lauriston RE: selena03 Sep 27, 2011 06:48 PM

        Generally I'll opt for any rustic Italian restaurant over any fancy French restaurant, though I mean to go to Gary Danko someday. Bistro Jeanty's more the kind of French I like.

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

        Bistro Jeanty
        6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

    2. w
      weshoke RE: selena03 Sep 27, 2011 11:38 AM

      There's a lot of great Italian. A favorite right now is Flour+Water. The trick with that place is to go early, get your name on the list and head to a nearby watering hole for pre-dinner drinks for an hour because that's usually what the wait is. Half the restaurant is reserved for walk-ins so getting a reservation takes some serious planning ahead. It's well worth the hassle. The pasta is simply inspiring.

      Other favorites are:
      Delfina / Pizzeria Delfina
      Locanda
      Farina
      La Ciccia

      Non-Italian favorites:
      Bar Agricole
      Zuni Café
      Gamine (excellent escargot)
      Sebo

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      Zuni Cafe
      1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

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

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

      Pizzeria Delfina
      3611 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Farina
      3560 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Pizzeria Delfina
      2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

      Bar Agricole
      355 11th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

      Gamine
      2223 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

      Locanda
      557 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      7 Replies
      1. re: weshoke
        JasmineG RE: weshoke Sep 27, 2011 10:03 PM

        After another recent meal at Flour + Water, I think I'm not a big fan of the place. The pastas were very good, but with very small portions for a comparatively high price, and the pizzas are fine, but there's much better pizza in San Francisco. I enjoyed my pasta a lot, but I find the place not worth the hassle to go there, or the money that you spend. I had just as good and sometimes better pasta at Cotogna, Delfina, and La Ciccia, and everything about those other three restaurants is more appealing to me than Flour + Water.

        The fish taco stand that you're thinking of is I think Primavera, they don't always have the fish tacos, but everything that they have is great, it's at the back of the market.

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

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

        Cotogna
        490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

        1. re: JasmineG
          w
          weshoke RE: JasmineG Sep 28, 2011 12:33 PM

          Interesting. I actually find Flour+Water quite reasonably priced and haven't had an issue with portion sizes. Entrees are almost all < $20 for dinner. I don't think that's overpriced at all.

          If you want overpriced, head over to Una Pizza Napoleatana. Granted, it's a really interesting space with good pizzas that have a nice smokiness, but I there are so many equally good if not better pizza places that it's not worth the $20+ for a pie especially given the lack of variety. I would never take an out of town guest there for that reason. I'm not sure I'll every go back in fact, but who knows...

          1. re: weshoke
            JasmineG RE: weshoke Sep 28, 2011 10:22 PM

            The prices would be fine if the portions were bigger. Three of us shared two appetizers, a pizza, and each got our own pastas, and were still a little hungry when we left, and this was with a friend of mine who has a pretty small appetite.

            1. re: JasmineG
              Frosty Melon RE: JasmineG Sep 29, 2011 08:38 AM

              Is F+W still a tough prospect for a walk-in? I keep wanting to go back, but not at 5:30.

              1. re: Frosty Melon
                w
                weshoke RE: Frosty Melon Sep 29, 2011 09:42 AM

                I've been at 8pm on a thursday. It was an hour wait (which was expected) so went to Homestead nearby for a pre-dinner drink. After the hour was up, we were seated immediately. It's not so great to wait at F+W because of the lack of seating and cramped space at the entrance. It's much more enjoyable to relax and take a drink nearby.

                1. re: Frosty Melon
                  JasmineG RE: Frosty Melon Sep 29, 2011 11:19 AM

                  When I went we walked in, but we got there at 5:30 (and there was a line outside the door). We got immediately seated though.

          2. re: weshoke
            d
            Dustin_E RE: weshoke Sep 28, 2011 12:22 PM

            i'd also suggest una pizza napoletana. (the best imho.)

            cotogna is also nice for brunch on saturdays and sundays.

            gary danko and cotogna are very, very different, so i think only you can decide which looks better to you.

          3. grayelf RE: selena03 Sep 28, 2011 03:14 PM

            Hey selena, fancy meeting you over here :-). Thought I'd chime in to say that La Ciccia is our favourite Italian (so far) in San Francisco. The room is very simple and the food is a bit more rustic than comparably priced places in our shared hometown but the flavours are all there, and you couldn't ask for more hospitable hosts. It is what I consider a neighbourhood gem that punches above its weight class.

            I like breakfast at Canteen but I think dinner is where it's at for me.

            We like to grab a fair bit of Mexican when we are in the Bay Area since it is really sad in Vancouver but we tend to focus on the stands which as I'm sure you are aware are legion and have their rabid fans. For sitdown, we like Poc Chuc which again is pretty stripped down and rustic. Chilango was also good though it felt less "authentic" -- the room is like a modernized taqueria, and the menu is more modern too for want of a better word. We've tried a few of the other full-service places in town and found them to be a bit too generic, though not to the degree of Primo's or the other sitdowners in Vancouver. The most fun I had was in Fruitvale over in the East Bay doing a taco crawl which might be a bit much in your condition -- congrats BTW :-).

            Hope you have a brilliant time and I'll be checking out your report for our next trip.

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

            Poc Chuc
            2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

            Chilango
            235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

            9 Replies
            1. re: grayelf
              s
              selena03 RE: grayelf Sep 28, 2011 05:40 PM

              Thanks Grayelf! I looked at the La Ciccia menu and it was a close call between it and Cotogna and Cotogna won out for me. We have changed our itinerary based on what everyone here has replied back with: Dinners: Chilango, Slanted Door, Cotogna. Lunches will still be Bistro Jeanty and Primavera at Farmers Market, and breakfast at Tartine (isn't this supposed to be the best patisserie in SF?) and Canteeen (only because I had to fit it in somewhere and didn't want to do dinner there as I am a picky eater and saw on the website that everyone gets the same dish:).

              Thanks everyone!

              -----
              Slanted Door
              Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

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

              Bistro Jeanty
              6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

              Chilango
              235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

              Cotogna
              490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

              1. re: selena03
                grayelf RE: selena03 Sep 28, 2011 11:12 PM

                I am going to have to find out more about the apparent perma-prix fixe at Canteen. This was mentioned on another thread recently, and that menu staying on the website is causing me angst :-). I prefer to have at least a few choices myself, and have avoided the prix fixe nights that were in play previously in our several visits. Will report back with my findings.

                1. re: grayelf
                  grayelf RE: grayelf Oct 12, 2011 05:27 PM

                  Not just prix fixe at Canteen, woohoo! Called and spoke to an actual human yesterday...

                2. re: selena03
                  pilinut RE: selena03 Sep 29, 2011 12:08 AM

                  Your choices sound terrific, and I'm sure you'll have a great time! But I wouldn't call Tartine "the best patisserie in SF": it's a very good American bakery with tasty, crusty loaf breads, an excellent banana cream tart, mouthwatering sandwiches, and (to me) a poor excuse for a croissant. I'm still looking for a patisserie in SF that is on par with Vancouver's 5 Senses, as it was when it was in that old downtown hotel. The best patisserie I've found so far is Patisserie Philippe on Townsend near 8th St.

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                  Patisserie Philippe (moving)
                  655 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                  1. re: pilinut
                    Melanie Wong RE: pilinut Sep 29, 2011 12:57 AM

                    Have you been to Bonjour Patisserie (new name, new owners of Patisserie Philippe)?

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                    Patisserie Philippe (moving)
                    655 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      pilinut RE: Melanie Wong Sep 29, 2011 12:06 PM

                      No, not yet! Thanks for the heads-up. I know that the pastry chef, Philippe, had teamed up with a new business partner, but I haven't been to PP in a couple of months. Do you know where they will be? The website says they will be reopening, but nothing on when or where. I know they were doing a brisk wholesale business, so I doubt that they closed for lack of clientele.

                    2. re: pilinut
                      y
                      yanks26dmb RE: pilinut Sep 29, 2011 07:38 AM

                      Have you been to Knead? Haven't seen one person who hasnt ranted and raved about them..and later called them the best patisserie in SF.

                      1. re: yanks26dmb
                        pilinut RE: yanks26dmb Sep 29, 2011 12:08 PM

                        Haven't been to Knead yet, but am hoping to go very soon!
                        What's not to miss?

                      2. re: pilinut
                        s
                        selena03 RE: pilinut Sep 29, 2011 07:59 AM

                        We would be stopping at Tartine for a pastry/croissant and/or quiche and coffee (not bread or sandwiches) quickly on our way to Napa so would it be better then to go to Bonjour Patisserie or Knead instead? Maybe these places will not have such a line up either?

                  2. s
                    selena03 RE: selena03 Oct 10, 2011 09:05 PM

                    I just wanted to post a follow up on the places we tried:

                    We ended up at A16 instead of Chilango only because we were shopping/walking in the area and decided on a much earlier dinner than planned. Because we were there so early we got a table right away. I had a delicious vegetarian zucchini soup with a hit of spice(the most delicious thing I ate the entire trip), and a good margherita pizza that we shared. My husband said his gnocchi with guinea hen sugo was good not great.
                    Tartine for breakfast was not very good. Greasiest pastries, I have ever had. My husband who is partial to butter and oil thought it was overly greasy as well so I know it wasn't just me:) We had pain au chocolat, a morning bun, and a quiche.
                    Bistro Jeanty for lunch-always good solid French bistro fare. Both of us enjoyed the heirloom tomato salad and pomme frites with mustard. I had the puff pastry tomato soup and my husband had oeufs meurette (apologize if misspelled) which he really enjoyed.
                    Slanted Door-overrated. Fun, buzzy atmosphere but the food left a lot to be desired. I know no one actually recommended it here on my post but we thought we would try it based on other posts, and published reviews. We both found the food bland and oily. We had 2 kinds of spring rolls (veg for me and pork for hubby) and those were nice and refreshing but the tofu dish, and bok choy I ordered were unflavorful and oily and my husbands berkshire porkchops were just "ok."
                    Breakfast at Il Cane Rosso at the Farmers Market was awesome. We sat outside so we had a beautiful view and we both loved the olive oil fried egg sandwiches and the pain de mie with the homemade grape jam. I also really enjoyed their homemade hot sauce. We liked the breakfast so much that we opted to eat there again the next day instead of going to Canteen.
                    Lunch at Primavera was also excellent. I had the Chilaquiles, and my hubby had the brisket taquitos: fresh and delicious!
                    We also had a donut inside the ferry building that was filled with pistachio custard. Loved it.
                    Last dinner was at Cotogna which was hit and miss. I had a simple salad of greens w/red wine vinaigrette which was good, followed by gnocchetti w/nettles and chanterelle mushrooms-not so good. The sauce was way too salty and I usually add salt to my food so it was a lot. My husbands starter of little gems with creme fraiche, avocado, and bacon was overly dressed and his entree of lamb sausage was "ok/good" (I didn't try it as I am a pescatarian). Dessert was an absolutely delicious quince and pear bread pudding that we shared.
                    Thanks to all for your suggestions! Until next time....

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                    A16
                    2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

                    Bistro Jeanty
                    6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                    Il Cane Rosso
                    1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94105

                    Chilango
                    235 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                    Cotogna
                    490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

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