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Jun 27, 2013 03:05 PM

Nice dinner out for 2 tired parents

It's been a few years since we've had an awesome meal (Orson was our favorite) and it looks like a bonus is coming our way. Who currently has the most innovative Tasting menu and Wine pairing (for this Wine Geek) in the Greater Bay Area? NO fish but shellfish is fine. A nice selection of Single Malt Scotches would be icing on the cake. Our 12th anniversary is coming up next month and I'd like to celebrate appropriately. What do y'all think?

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  1. Quince for best overall value, great atmosphere, great time. Serves cocktails too.

    Benu for best wine/beverage service, good food, seamless service. Though I don't think they have hard alcohol (can't recall).

    Manresa if you want to go out of the way - has a new focus on cocktails but I haven't been since that development.

    Atelier Crenn for most artistic presentation and fearlessness to try new things. A little awkward in the other aspects (wine list is eccentric and carefully curated but limited). Not seamless but very earnest. Dishes are variable - some fail some are very memorable. No hard alcohol.

    1. The French Laundry is now serving spirits (some rare and expensive), probably not what you are looking for but I thought I would throw it out there.

      1. I am a big fan of Commonwealth's menu and its wine pairings, although I know there are others on this board who disagree. If they are having a guest chef at the right time, that's worth looking into--the dinner with Blaine Wetzel was terrific.

        Also, not perhaps the type of innovation you seek, but I have been very happy with the Flour + Water pasta tasting menu and wine pairings.

        I haven't taken note as to whether Commis has a scotch selection, but perhaps others know? I find their wine pairings a bit hit and miss, but have not been there for a bit.

        4 Replies
        1. re: BAnders

          Commonwealth is beer and wine only for something similar with a full bar there is AQ (though AQ is more "hip" and is louder) - it is not my favorite but doing some interesting innovative stuff.

          Will note Flour + Water are both beer and wine only. Locanda and Cotogna which are also cal-italian have full bars.

          Cotogna has the best wine list of these options - the others are all acceptable but not a focus.

          1. re: goldangl95

            But do AQ, Cotogna, etc. have wine pairings and tasting menus?

            I like Cotogna's list but prefer Flour + Water's. Haven't been to Locanda yet.

            1. re: BAnders

              Cotogna has a tasting menu on Sunday evenings (and maybe other times?)

              AQ had a tasting menu at one time - not sure if they still do.

              If they have a sommelier on staff, they can help create a wine pairing for you, or you can create your own off the glass list.

              1. re: goldangl95

                AQ has a tasting menu ($68) with wine pairings (+$45).