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Restaurant in style of Chez Panisse, etc. near Embarcadero or Fisherman's Wharf?

bythebay Apr 29, 2012 04:24 PM

Hey all, I'm trying to choose some place to go for my birthday dinner. I'm not looking for anything stuffy, hoping for a relaxed environement. I'd like a place with good service, hopefully wild fish on the menu, and pleasant atmosphere. Hopefully light and airy, rather than dark and cramped. I would really love a place that has an outdoorsy feel with big open windows and/or outdoor seating. Near the water is a big plus.

As far as food, I like restaurants like Absinthe, Jardineire, A16, Baywolf and Chez Panisse Cafe. Right now I'm not eating grains, dairy, or egg and neither I nor my husband eat meat other than seafood so I'd love a place where I could find a wild fish or seafood dish, and great vegetables and light salads. I want to eat something that feels light, summery, simple, in season. I'm not familiar with too many restaurants in the city. Any ideas for me?

I'm also open to other neighborhoods also but prefer if they aren't too far from Embarcadero. I had a hard time coming up with a good tile for the post to convey what I'm trying to ask.

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  1. wolfe RE: bythebay Apr 29, 2012 05:14 PM

    Check out Waterbar.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe
      bythebay RE: wolfe Apr 29, 2012 06:47 PM

      Thank you Wolfe! I was just coming here to add that the two I found so far were Waterbar and Waterfront Restaurant. Waterbar seems to have tons of wild seafood, love that. Actually I'm still very new to eating seafood, but I assume line caught would mean wild as well?

      Waterbar may be a great pick. I can't tell if you can sit outside for dinner, but I think you can. Looks good. Do you have any thoughts on Waterside Restaurant? http://waterfrontsf.com/

      1. re: bythebay
        wolfe RE: bythebay Apr 29, 2012 07:02 PM

        Call about outdoor seating hours.
        Went to Waterfront almost 40 years ago, high point saw Willie Brown, low point the food, haven't been back.

        1. re: wolfe
          bythebay RE: wolfe May 1, 2012 04:50 AM

          Thanks Wolfe.

    2. CarrieWas218 RE: bythebay Apr 29, 2012 07:36 PM

      Have you looked at Greens menu lately?

      2 Replies
      1. re: CarrieWas218
        Tripeler RE: CarrieWas218 Apr 29, 2012 08:35 PM

        Wife and I had dinner at Greens last month. It was as great as ever, and the service really shone. Carrie, this is a great suggestion.

        1. re: CarrieWas218
          Ruth Lafler RE: CarrieWas218 Jun 8, 2012 06:42 PM

          It Greens really a good choice for someone who doesn't eat grains, dairy or eggs?

        2. d
          DavidT RE: bythebay Apr 29, 2012 08:29 PM

          How about Boulevard?


          1 Reply
          1. re: DavidT
            macadam RE: DavidT Apr 29, 2012 08:46 PM

            We last dined at Boulevard Jan. 2012. Service and food were both excellent, and felt the value/food cost was good. Seared scallops were my choice and were perfectly cooked; beef and lamb chops also ordered and all were really tasty. Friends brought wine from their vineyard, and the corkage was comped with another bottle purchased. Look forward to returning.

          2. b
            bythebay RE: bythebay May 1, 2012 04:19 AM

            Thanks all for the suggestions. I got sick last week and now in hindsight I'm starting to think it was from some mussels I had at a restaurant and so am getting a bit gun-shy about eating seafood out right now. I'm still new to the seafood thing, and getting sick made me somewhat freaked out. We are still cooking fish at home but I'm a little nervous about eating it out, although at a good restaurant I'm guessing that wouldn't be an issue?

            Maybe I will look into getting a vegan dish instead just to be safe or relax some of my eating restrictions for the night. I might have to reconsider my criteria if fish/seafood isn't going to be what I go with. Boulevard is one I'll look into, I'm not familiar with their menu. Greens I had sort of a negative experience with service and haven't returned since. Thanks everyonel!

            1 Reply
            1. re: bythebay
              Robert Lauriston RE: bythebay May 1, 2012 05:05 PM

              If you don't want seafood, consider Waterbar's adjacent sister restaurant Epic Roasthouse.

            2. b
              bythebay RE: bythebay May 1, 2012 02:48 PM

              If I do decide to stick with fish, how is One Market overall?

              1 Reply
              1. re: bythebay
                CarrieWas218 RE: bythebay May 1, 2012 04:46 PM

                If you are considering fish, I would recommend Farallon above One Market.

              2. b
                bythebay RE: bythebay May 3, 2012 01:06 PM

                Thanks Robert, Carrie, and all for the suggestions. They won't go to waste. For my birthday I decided to play it safe by going someplace I've already been. But I will definitely use the suggestions for other occasions. I decided Absinthe for birthday dinner. Although their fish I don't think is wild, I'm still leaning toward getting it. If not I think they have a veggie plate too. I'm thinking of putting aside the grain and dairy restrictions, after all I do want birthday cake and it's one day a year, and therefore am considering a lunch at Delfina too. Now, just need to decide on what type of pizza to order! Thanks everyone.

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