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Dec 2, 2013 04:50 PM

Another SF Ballet-Dining Related Question

I'm taking my wife to The Nutcracker (annual tradition) at 7pm on Tuesday the 17th. I'm looking for fun dinner reservations nearby; either before or afterward. I assume we'll be done by 9pm. Beforehand might be trickier as we'll want to arrive at least 30 mins. beforehand (6:30pm) which means we would have to be seated somewhere nearby and with quick turnaround by 5:30pm at the absolute latest. I'm not even sure that would be possible as we'll be coming from work so it's a tight squeeze!

So... 9pm-ish reservations nearby, should be in the $60/pp range, festive atmosphere would be a plus, preferably more upscale than the divey ethnic restos in the Tenderknob area. We live on Van Ness @ Sacramento so we don't want to venture too far out of the way of home after the ballet.

Otherwise, I'm looking for the same as above only with lightning fast turnaround and for a 5:30-ish seating that won't feel TOO rushed! I could always ask my wife to change at work and meet me.

Lastly, I've never explored the option before so I don't know the answer to this but is there any dining in the War Memorial by chance; similar to what the Met Opera House has? (ie. overpriced mediocre food in a fancy space with fun people watching)


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  1. Absinthe, Plaj, Jardiniere, and Chambers are open later.

    For the Nutcracker the Opera House doesn't have a dinner menu but you can get cheese, cold cuts, and sweets. People watching can be good.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Thank you, Robert!

      We were at Plaj 2 weeks ago and loved it, but I'd like to try something new.

      I've read mixed reports concerning Jardiniere. It was my first consideration but between complaints re. quality, costs and even aesthetics of the dining room, I'm not so certain. Any thoughts on that one?

      I haven't been to Absinthe or Chambers so I will look into those options...

      North Box Bar looks and sounds perfect - this is just what I wanted... how does one go about making reservations? Do I need to call the Opera House or is it a first come first served seating?

      Thanks again!

      1. re: OliverB

        Dunno. There's a phone number and email address at the bottom of that linked page.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I just called and left a message... the $45 cheese option and reasonably priced bottle of champagne sound great. I hope there's seating!

        2. re: OliverB

          I'm quite partial to Absinthe and as noted, they are open late. It is my favorite go-to in the city...beyond excellent service, great drinks and consistently good food.

      2. Has anyone eaten at Patina's Café Express or Café at the Opera? Are they all in the same War Memorial building and how is the food and ambiance compared to the North Box Bar... I'm guess the buffet is to be avoided, right?

        2 Replies
        1. re: OliverB

          I have eaten at the buffet and - yes - it is to be avoided, especially at $38 a person!

          I have only had desserts at the Cafe Express, during opera intermissions, and have always enjoyed and desired to go back for the scrumptious dinner-sized salads I have seen being served.

          1. re: CarrieWas218

            Thank you for affirming what I assumed...

            I'm going to book for the North Box Bar. I actually sent an email 2 days ago and left several tel. messages and have yet to hear back from anyone. Kind of frustrating. How difficult can it be to integrate online reservations into the website with different meal/drink price options?

            I'm hoping someone will get back to me today. If that doesn't happen, I better make some backup plans.