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Seeking San Fran suggestions on where to eat


pam claughton
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Hi all,

I'm heading to San Fran July 29 thru August 3, and then to Sonoma for two nights. Tuesday night when I arrive I'll be on my own before my conference buddies arrive on Wednesday and I'd love to treat myself with a wonderful dinner...and a place that wouldn't mind a solo diner. I don't mind if it's pricey or not, just that the food is excellent. I'll be staying at the downtown Marriott near Union Square.

I'm from Boston, and favorite restaurants here are Radius, Clio, Mistral and No. 9 Park.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

:) Pam

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Solo dining is not an issue in SF, even at the most upscale places. We were at the Dining Room at the Ritz last month and there was someone dining alone. The Dining Room is one of the top restaurant in SF. The 9 course tasting menu is just divine. The great thing about that is you can make special request and have the menu tailored to what you enjoy.

I'm not familiar with the restaurants you mentioned, so maybe give folks some ideas of what they are like. There are just so many restaurants in SF that it's hard to just recommend something. Perhaps some details in terms of cuisine, price and neighborhood.

Yelp is a useful website where you can read reviews from the locals. You can search by neighborhood, cuisine, price and more so that can help you narrow down your search.

Hope you enjoy your time here! :raz:

anna

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Solo dining is not an issue in SF, even at the most upscale places. We were at the Dining Room at the Ritz last month and there was someone dining alone. The Dining Room is one of the top restaurant in SF. The 9 course tasting menu is just divine. The great thing about that is you can make special request and have the menu tailored to what you enjoy.

I'm not familiar with the restaurants you mentioned, so maybe give folks some ideas of what they are like. There are just so many restaurants in SF that it's hard to just recommend something. Perhaps some details in terms of cuisine, price and neighborhood.

Yelp is a useful website where you can read reviews from the locals. You can search by neighborhood, cuisine, price and more so that can help you narrow down your search.

Hope you enjoy your time here!  :raz:

anna

Hi Anna,

I'm pretty easy, as I like everything! The restaurants I mentioned in Boston are varied, No. 9 is fabulous homemade pastas, Radius, Clio and Mistral are all somewhat upscale with great tasting menus and local flavors.

I'm just as happy with a hole in the wall neighborhood favorite as a fine dining tasting menu...would love to go where the locals go for special nights and to try some native to San Fran types of dishes.

Thanks for the suggestion on the Ritz, may check that out!

:) Pam

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Hi all,

I'm heading to San Fran July 29 thru August 3, and then to Sonoma for two nights. Tuesday night when I arrive I'll be on my own before my conference buddies arrive on Wednesday and I'd love to treat myself with a wonderful dinner...and a place that wouldn't mind a solo diner...

:) Pam

Pam, you are up for a treat!!!

May I suggest a few places for your dining pleasure:

La Colonial (French-Vietnamese in a Colonial setting)

Michael Mina's ( needs no explanation - and within walking distance from anywhere close to Union Sq.)

Mecca ( jump in a cab - so worth it!!!)

Ferry Bldg ( a long walk or a short cab ride) is phenomenal, esp.

The Slanted Door (you'll pretty much have to eat at the bar - it's always busy, but so great food and drinks)

Boulevard ( right across from the Ferry Bldg.)

There are many other options, of course. Added benefit, a woman dining/eating/drinking solo in SF is likely to attract very little, if any, unwanted attention/advances, a guy dining solo - would be a different story! ;-)

"It's not from my kitchen, it's from my heart"

Michael T.

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My flickr collection

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  • 2 weeks later...

First night in San Fran was last night and had a truly amazing meal at Canteen on Sutter St. They do a prix fixe on Tuesdays and it was every bit as good, better even than I expected, and the praise for this place was high.

Amuse Bouche was a tasty nibble of goat cheese, capers and plump golden raisins...incredible mix of salty, sweet and creamy.

First course was Sockeye Salmon Gravlax with smoked salmon, fennel and tomato. I wasn't excited about this when I read the menu because I don't love gravlax....but this was phenomenal. The bits of smoked salmon had been marinated in citrus and the flavor was wonderful.

Second course was over the top delicious. Pork tenderloin that was pink and juicy and served with a savory fig glaze, alba mushrooms, cannelini beans and crunchy little croutons that were crispy bits of pork belly...and the portion was generous.

Dessert was a blueberry clafoutis, which reminded me of an elegant blueberry pancake as it was topped with a bitter almond Bavarian cream that was fluffy and fragrant.

I am so glad that I went here, and an added bonus was it was only a short walk to my hotel.

So far, am loving the food in San Fran.

:)

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Quick note: It is not "San Fran" or "Frisco." You are in San FranCISCO. We locals bristle at the abbreviation...

Glad you got to Canteen - it is my favorite place for solo dining and would have been high on my list of recommendations. I'll also add Bar Crudo and Aziza.

I am NOT a fan of Boulevard, Michael Mina, or Gary Danko, thinking them all over-rated.

In Sonoma, I would have normally suggested The General's Daughter but we know there is a chef change going on right now. Instead, consider Cafe La Haye, La Salette (Portuguese!), or Girl in the Fig.

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Quick note: It is not "San Fran" or "Frisco." You are in San FranCISCO. We locals bristle at the abbreviation...

Glad you got to Canteen - it is my favorite place for solo dining and would have been high on my list of recommendations. I'll also add Bar Crudo and Aziza.

I am NOT a fan of Boulevard, Michael Mina, or Gary Danko, thinking them all over-rated.

In Sonoma, I would have normally suggested The General's Daughter but we know there is a chef change going on right now. Instead, consider Cafe La Haye, La Salette (Portuguese!), or Girl in the Fig.

Really, that bothers the locals to abbreviate? I had no idea. I tend to shorten things automatically. No offense meant.

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Quick note: It is not "San Fran" or "Frisco." You are in San FranCISCO. We locals bristle at the abbreviation...

Glad you got to Canteen - it is my favorite place for solo dining and would have been high on my list of recommendations. I'll also add Bar Crudo and Aziza.

I am NOT a fan of Boulevard, Michael Mina, or Gary Danko, thinking them all over-rated.

In Sonoma, I would have normally suggested The General's Daughter but we know there is a chef change going on right now. Instead, consider Cafe La Haye, La Salette (Portuguese!), or Girl in the Fig.

Really, that bothers the locals to abbreviate? I had no idea. I tend to shorten things automatically. No offense meant.

No biggie - just adding to the wealth of knowledge.

Just to prove I'm not making this up:

Virtual Tourist

MetBlogs

And the Frisco thing

Hope you had a good time regardless and will report back where else you ate!

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  • 1 month later...

I just finished my food trip to the san francisco bay area. I've been to Aqua, Gary Danko's, Zuni Cafe, Bouchon, Michael Mina and Chez Panisse. Auqua was definitely the best of them all. But actually I liked them all very much except Michael Mina. Michael Mina was nothing about food anymore. It was all about prestige. I don't like that fact, I prefer restaurants where the food is central.

I hope to get back soon to sf bay area!

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Sven, sorry you didn't check in beforehand -- I would have HEARTILY recommended you stay away from Michael Mina...

Oh well - glad you enjoyed the rest of your visit! Next time, consider Coi, Ame, or Aziza!

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  • 1 month later...

I'm piggybacking on this line of inquiry and am asking on behalf of another:

Business dinner, generous expense account, one diner must have steak, and preferably not too loud.

Where to? Boulevard? Zuni Cafe?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Which one is more appropriate for business clientele? Boulevard looks nice, somewhat bistro, and given the tiles and ceiling, a bit loud.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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The music doesn't get in the way?

Again, there has to be steak. Although there is (one) steak on the Farallon menu, my impression of the place is that it is primarily a seafood restaurant.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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The music doesn't get in the way? 

Again, there has to be steak.  Although there is (one) steak on the Farallon menu, my impression of the place is that it is primarily a seafood restaurant.

I've never thought the music got in the way and the upstairs can be very elegant with fabulous service. Farallon is too limited for the steak eater, I think. And I have been a Boulevard detractor for some time as I have found it to be quite mediocre.

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The music doesn't get in the way? 

Again, there has to be steak.  Although there is (one) steak on the Farallon menu, my impression of the place is that it is primarily a seafood restaurant.

I've never thought the music got in the way and the upstairs can be very elegant with fabulous service. Farallon is too limited for the steak eater, I think. And I have been a Boulevard detractor for some time as I have found it to be quite mediocre.

Mille grazie, Carolyn.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
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