Birthday dinner for four... which of these untried choices?
Trying to select a place I have not tried for an upcoming dinner for 4.
Here's my current wish list.
Which would you recommend, or strike, from among the following?
-- Campton Place
-- Keiko Nob Hill
-- Hachi Ju Hachi
-- Sons and Daughters
-- Bar Tartine
Depends on whether you want to celebrate the birthday or the food. Manresa is a great meal but I would not feel comfortable having a boisterous time there. It feels more staid and hushed. Same with Campton place. Nopa and Bar Tartine are at the other end, Loud and lively places where volume may get too much. I don't think you will have a bad meal at any of these, (tho I would cut out Campton Place), I just think the tone of your celebration may fit one type of place more than another.
I was to Chotto on a Tuesday. I was assuming that, since it was in the Marina, a Friday would be considerably more crowded/loud.
Regardless, my friends are well behaved and will fit in most any atmosphere. :-)
I still may shoot for Nopa on the Friday for the bigger group instead of Chotto -- but it's to early to reserve there at present.
i just liked it a lot less than, say commis. (and pretty much all the other bay area tasting menus i've had.)
i thought the cooking did nothing to enhance the ingredients, and many of the flavors were off
the service and space were certainly nothing to speak of, but unfortunately i felt the same about the food.
this was a year ago, and i haven't been back, so it could have been an off night, or things could have changed.
Manresa has the best food on your list.
Keiko Nob Hill a close second -- classic french with a japanese minimalist / perfectionist touch
Commis is a great value, and has great food.
Nopa is fun and loud, certainly a lot more downscale than the three just mentioned. I usually just get a burger there.
I didn't like sons and daughters.
I haven't been to the other ones.
We are going with Sons & Daughters.
In the end, we've dinged Commis, Manresa and Hachi Ju Hachi because they are outside the city.
And we've dinged Bar Tartine and Nopa because they are not 'special occasion' style places. (But see my next post on this thread for a followup question)
Keiko is more formal than we feel like doing (I feel I'd need to dress a bit) and Sons & Daughters sounds a bit more creative. We left out Campton Place and Luce because I could not really find any endorsements for either.
And, while dustin did not recommend Sons & Daughters, he was there a little while ago and there have been some very recent rave. Plus the place seems to be getting steadily better response since it opened. I like the idea of going to a place on its way up.
I'll report back after, but the meal is still a few weeks away.
One more question:
What is the appeal of Nopa?
We may go there with a larger group the night before, but I've never been and I'm having a tough time 'getting' what's good about them. The info on their site does not really call to me.
So, any Nopa fans out there? What do you love about the place?
re: Robert Lauriston
This is interesting. I'm not a fan of Zuni, never understood its allure beyond a good martini and oysters. So if it's the younger generation's Zuni, that is not a selling point.
And regarding the broad appeal that absc mentions, that's not a selling point either. I'd rather go somewhere my parents or a picky child would a problem with. :-)
And many of the restaurants in that article that I've visited are places I don't really get, even though others love them: Chez Panisse underwhelmed me.
as did Quince and Limon. I do like Slanted Door and A16 though.
So my suspicions about Nopa may be true...
i was just at Sons and Daughters and loved it, start to finish. incredible, surprising flavors, beautiful execution, lovely space, wonderful service. Commis is fantastic too, more "serious", as far as food goes. For me, Commis is best when you can sit at the counter to watch - may not be possible with four.