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Dinner tonight in or around Fisherman's Wharf - suggestions?

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My family and I are taking a little impromptu trip to SF from a town called Modesto. We should be there in about two hours. Any suggestions for a nice restaurant with a little ambience that's not too dressy? My mom and I look nice but my teenage brothers are in jeans. Any quick suggestions are greatly appreciated! I'll be checking this post from my phone periodically. Thanks so much in advance!

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  1. Open Table shows reservations for 4 at 7 for 14 restaurants. Check them out. My choices Scoma's and Fog City Diner did not appear.

    The reason they didn't show was they are not on OP. Call to check.

    1. This lengthy past discussion might be of some help:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/794798

      1. 1. Go to a different neighborhood. joke around town is that F'man's Wharf is the only place in town bad restaurants survive. Try walking up Columbus to North Beach, or up Hyde to Russian Hill.
        2. jeans: no problem. The only place near you that would care is Gary Danko, and you probably wouldn't take teenagers there.
        There are probably over 100 restaurants within a 20 minute walk of the Wharf, anything you want, really. A great place within walking distance might be Costogna, on Pacific/Montgomery

        1. I'm so, so embarrassed to report that after a fight on the car ride over and a failed attempt to make it to Scoma's (the GPS on my phone stopped working and my family got very annoyed), we wound up having a God-awful meal at Fishermen's Grotto. We ALMOST went into Alioto's and went to FG instead, much to my annoyance.

          It was terrible; absolutely terrible. We almost left but my mother is diabetic and needed to eat by a certain time, so we just settled in and tried to make the best of it. My parents are both fabulous cooks and my grandparents are the original foodies in my family, so we KNOW good food. Unfortunately, my parents are rotten at planning trips in advance, which is why we wound up with:

          - Cold broiled halibut (my father's)
          - Seasonless, flavorless sole meuniere (mine)
          - Seasonless, flavorless red snapper (my mother's)
          - Limp penne as a bed for fried calamari (my 15 year old brother's)
          - A hamburger so bland, a Carl's Jr. $6 burger would have been preferrable (my 19 year old brother's meal. He's allergic to all seafood and didn't have the heart to order a steak, even though my dad tried to insist)

          By the end of the night, we all agreed to come back soon, with a plan to try to make it to Scoma's, or to eat somewhere in Union Square. I'm BEYOND humiliated to even post where we ate on here, but I wanted to say thank you very much to the posters who tried to help me yesterday!

          The whole night just went sour, and my father was driving based on his memory of SF, and it's been many years, so he felt sort of stuck. Meh. :( Next time, we WILL be prepared!

          1 Reply
          1. re: SparklingSugar

            Next time skip Union Square too, and we'll find you a real restaurant.

            No need to apologize for a bad meal; fish on Monday especially over a holiday weekend is probably never a good idea though.