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Two nailed down need advice on the third choice

Going to San Francisco in Feb. both myself and my partner have been many times and just miss it. The two restaurants we have decided on are Atelier Crenn and Incanto (the later has been on my list for so long I'm checking it off this time). The up in the air third is split between the following and this is where I need help. AQ and Sons and daughters just from reading their menus, both sound fantastic. The dark horse is oliveto in Oakland just because I have been on their mailing list for so long and everything they do sounds so good.

Anyway any feed back is appreciated. Thanks:)

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  1. I would say no to AQ and that is only based on my one dinner there, which, as a local, did not make me want to rush back. Food was fine, good, but not great by any means. Cher grayelf, with me that night, from Canada, concurred. I've not been to Sons and daughters. I cannot praise Atelier highly enough, it was absolutely the best meal i've ever had. Olivetos is an old standby, and by most accounts does not disappoint, tho i personally haven't been in years. Incanto is. Great pick too, tho maybe i'd not do two italians on a short trip even tho they're different... with the caveat that i were going to do that, one of them should be Cotogna.

    1. And I would say AQ over Sons and Daughters, but it might be an easy decision if you have a preference between a set menu (S&D) and an a la carte menu (AQ-although AQ has a tasting menu option too).

      Also, I'm pretty sure S&D is just wine, and AQ has great cocktails. So that might also help you make your decision.

      1. Oliveto is good but so is a handful of similarly-styled restaurants: Perbacco, Barbacco, etc...

        I would throw in a completely different bent to your trip and recommend the likes of Aziza or Quince...

        1. AQ is great. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/815841

          Oliveto's great but probably as similar to Incanto as it gets around here.

          1. I like slightly less experimental food than Atelier Crenn and AQ. With that in mind, I'd suggest also looking into State Bird Provisions and Frances.

            4 Replies
            1. re: goldangl95

              I don't find AQ's food very experimental, it has modernist touches but always in the service of flavor.

              I haven't been able to bring myself to go to Crenn as the food seems like a parody of molecular gastronomy.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Way too Frenchy for me, though for that precise reason I can see how it might be a top choice for anyone into modernist cuisine.

                  It's certainly interesting, and I'd probably enjoy myself if someone took me there, but I can't bring myself to spend $500 to find out. One meal at WD-50 was more than enough modernism on my own dime.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    it's really more japanese/frenchy. we spent that much on two of us, but we only had 4 glasses of wine/bubbly total. I'm sure you'd enjoy it too. but yes, while i'd love to do it again, it's really hard to justify.