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Recommendations for Restaurants Near Ritz Carlton and Palace Hotel with Great Wine Lists

I'm coming up to San Francisco Monday night and trying to decide between staying at the Ritz Carlton or the Palace Hotel.

The Ritz has great rates, but the dining room is closed and both the menu and the wine list at the Lobby Lounge (only place to eat in the hotel) look dreadful. So, although I usually prefer to eat in my hotel, I'll have to go out.

I am going to make my decision between the Ritz and the Palace based entirely on which one is more convenient to somewhere I'd like to eat Monday night.

Any suggestions welcome.

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  1. Also was wondering how much a cab from the Ritz to Gary Danko would cost and if one can eat the bar at Gary Danko.

    I started drooling when I looked at the Gary Danko wine list online. Perhaps I should stay at the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf just for Gary Danko proximity?

    5 Replies
    1. re: omotosando

      You could take the cable car from either. Don't stay at the wharf.

      Which part of Gary Danko's list was appealing? Other places with exceptional high-end lists include RN74, Acquerello, La Folie, and Spruce.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/815881

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

      Spruce
      3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

      Acquerello Restaurant
      1722 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94109

      RN74
      301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Thanks for the help. I went a little beserk when I saw a half bottle of Yves Cuilleron Les Chaillots Viogner on the Danko list -- an unbelievably good wine and one I've never seen on a restaurant list.

        I will also check out Acquerrello and Spruce. I looked at RN74 online and the wine list didn't excite me as much as I thought it would, given the pedigree of the restaurant. The La Folie wine list bored me.

        1. re: omotosando

          Just checked out Acquerrello, but they are closed on Monday's, so not a contender. They have a decent wine list by the bottle, but not so great by the half bottle or glass -- not so good for the solo traveler.

          The Spruce wine list didn't excite me, plus Spruce seems more out of the way from where I'll be staying than either Danko or RN74.

          Wish they hadn't closed the dining room at the Ritz. I actually hate leaving my hotel when I'm on short business trips. I usually stay at Campton Place and eat the restaurant there, but the Campton Place hotel rates are a little prohibitive at the moment. Would rather spend my money on good wine than a hotel room.

      2. re: omotosando

        The cab ride from the Ritz to Gary Danko should be under $10. The cable car is $6, so you're not saving much if simply getting there is the issue. You can take the 30 Stockton for $2 (I'd take the bus there and cab back, but that's just me).

        There was a glowing review several years ago about eating at the bar at GD, but I don't remember seeing anything recently. For something even closer to your hotel you might check if Masa's wine list is to your liking.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Thanks. Masa is another restaurant that is closed Monday nights. They also don't post their wine list.

      3. If you are interested in (very good!) Italian wine & food, check out Perbacco (240 California St.), not too far a walk from the RC.

        http://perbaccosf.com/menus.html

        1. You can definitely eat at the bar at Danko. What about staying at the Argonaut instead? It's 2 blocks from Danko and that way you can spend the cab fare on the wine, too.

          4 Replies
          1. re: originalfig

            Tried to book the Argonaut, but it was full. In any event, I just changed my flight to fly up the morning of my business meeting rather than the night before, so these suggestions will have to await my next trip to San Francisco.

            In any case, I'm very impressed with the Danko wine list. And was really surprised at the RN74 list given everything I had heard about the restaurant. RN74 list seems to be "the usual suspects." Gary Danko list more imaginative. Plus, although I saw people on this Board complain about the Danko markups, they did not seem obscene to me by L.A. standards. The half bottle of Yves Cuilleron Les Chaillots (a difficult bottle to find at retail) is $110, while a half-bottle at retail (if you can find it) is $50.40. So a little more than 2 times retail, while many L.A. restaurants are marking up three times retail.

            So definitely looking forward to a leisure trip to San Francisco and dining at Gary Danko (and perhaps a room at the Argonaut).

            1. re: omotosando

              I agree with you about the list at Danko being more imaginative. They've had some truly terrific people running their wine program over the years (Renee Nicole-Kubin, Christie Dufault, Jason Alexander) who've done an awesome job building the cellar. Also, each of them had/has slightly different viewpoints so perhaps that's why the list has such wonderful diversity (unlike RN74's list, which is the direct expression of one person's point of view).

              Conversely, Danko's food is extremely solid and definitely luxurious it's not terribly imaginative. But if wine is your first concern, you will have a wonderful time. Their cheese course is an especially worthwhile indulgence as a means of extending the enjoyment of anything left in your glass after the entree, too...

              And thanks for the mention of the Cuilleron Chaillets - I've never had that cuvee, only his Petite Cote, always meant to try it. I'm now checking it out on Wine-Searcher and mulling over splurging on a half bottle or two....

              1. re: originalfig

                The Les Chaillots is definitely worth it. The 2008 was one of the best white wines I have ever had. At the same time I acquired it, I also acquired and drank a 2007 André Perret Condrieu Coteau du Chery, which was only $10 less expensive than the Les Chaillots, but there was absolutely no comparison between the two wines. I'm still thinking about the Les Chaillots, which was one of the reasons I was so excited by a possible visit to Danko.

                1. re: omotosando

                  Okay, I'm sold! Just went to order it from a shop in Oakland, but they have a minimum order of four half bottles. This will be a holiday treat to look forward to, yay. I will do some more sleuthing tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration.

          2. Boulevard has a well-selected and imaginative list and is easy walking distance from the Palace Hotel.

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            Boulevard Restaurant
            1 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105