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Dining Talk 2002


jordyn
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If you want something less formal, Boulevard has become one of my favorite restaurants. Food has been tops.

I preferred Fleur de Lys to French Laundry (though I only ate there once). They have just reopenned from a fire last year, and I haven't been in a while. But they will make a tasting menu for any type diet; ominivore, no red meat, all fish, vegetarian. We did it once with one veg, two fish, one omni and got 3 different versions for each of 7 courses, all fabulous.

I love Farrollon, but not everyone does. But I've been there 3 times in the last 12 months and give it very high marks.

And somehow find time to get the Roasted Mussels at Lulu's, even if that's the only thing you have room for.

beachfan

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I think that some of the recommendations have been great. Chez Panisse is a must-visit place. So is the French Laundry - but you have explained the difficulty in getting there.

Gary Danko and the Fifth Floor are very good but probably lack soul. If you are a real foodie who likes deep flavours and real food (rather than tricked up plating) then those in the know always head for Zuni Cafe on Market (and you can catch public transport very easily).

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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We just ate at three restaurants we'd never been to before, and all three were shockingly good.

One: Jeanty at Jack's. Downtown, site of famous old S.F. restaurant. Retro French menu -- coq au vin, FILLET OF SOLE, for God's sake! -- cassoulet -- but damned if it isn't the best version of those things I've ever had. Kind of a brilliant idea. Good service and wine list. Not stuffy.

Two: Plouf. Downtown. Casual, noisy French seafood. Pleasant French waiters, a flabbergasting concept, I know. I am very sensitive to mussels being past their peak, and these were immaculately fresh and came with a variety of great sauces. A good place to share plates.

Three: Aziza on Geary/23rd. Finally! A great Moroccan restaurant where you don't have to sit on pillows or have your dinner interrupted by belly dancers (well, maybe a little on the weekend, but only for five minutes). It's a level of Moroccan cooking I haven't had before. Homemade filo, unidentifiable spices, etc. All of us, including my adventurous 6 year old, could not stop eating. That good. Lovely upscale ambience, full bar.

These are all well regarded by more people than myself. Check them out.

R.G.

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If you are a real foodie who likes deep flavours and real food (rather than tricked up plating) then those in the know always head for Zuni Cafe on Market (and you can catch public transport very easily).

I tried it once recently and was very disappointed.

Anchovy appetizer - tiny, overly oily, clueless

Fish entree (I forget which) - just ok

beachfan

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Besides Fifth Floor and Chez Panisse in Berkeley, where should I consider going?  I will be in SF from Sept. 27 to October 2.  Not interested in Chinese or Japanese food this time around.  Also not a wine or beer drinker, so please keep that in mind.  I'm looking to spend about $100 to $120 per meal, tops.

Is there any place that I should book in advance, besides Chez Panisse?

Danke,

SA

Ok here is a must do while in San Francisco there is a restaurant called Thang Long it is a Vietnamese restaurant that had a dish called Roasted Crab order that with the Garlic noodle you will fall in love the award winning menu, Thanh Long.

Hordes of people travel out to the end of the Avenues to enjoy top-notch Vietnamese-fusion cuisine for reasonable prices, so make your reservations early. This restaurant is run by the same family who own Crustacean (L.A. and S.F.) and features the same delectable menu. with larger portions! It's aroung the price you quoted. I expect a full report when you finish

Address:

4101 Judah St

(at the corner of 47th Avenue)

San Francisco, CA 94122

Phone: 415 665 1146

:rolleyes:

Stanley E. Roberts

President/CEO

www.we8there.com

"we ate there, should you?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am planning a trip to SF/Napa and contemplating the restaurants listed below. Your thoughts/experiences/opinions regarding these establishments are kindly requested:

La Folie

Redwood Park

Charles Nob Hill

Acquerello

Frascati

La Toque

Also hope to go to the French Laundry, but I think I have a sufficient amount of input on that place.

Thanks in advance for your input.

The Critical Diner

"If posts to eGullet became the yardstick of productivity, Tommy would be the ruler of the free world." -- Fat Guy

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I'll be dining at Redwood Park and Charles Nob Hill this weekend, so I should be able to provide notes next week if that is not too late to be useful for you.

Not too late at all. I look forward to your notes. Thanks.

The Critical Diner

"If posts to eGullet became the yardstick of productivity, Tommy would be the ruler of the free world." -- Fat Guy

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I loved eating at Ernie's.

I do not know, however, if it is still operating. I ate there as a kid with my grandfather and still remember the steak with roquefort butter... yum... Pretty fancy place.

Ernies, by the way, is featured several times in Hitchcock's "Vertigo".

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We recently checked out Jeanty at Jack's downtown. They haven't messed with the historic space much (good!) and the menu is retro-French, old standby dishes that you thought were tired, but had amazing life left in them because they were so well prepared. Kind of a revalation. I second Boulevard. Very San Francisco, upscale without being formal, reliably good, although first-tier "fine" I wouldn't call it. If you're in that dining wasteland known as Marin, we really like Marche de Fleur in downtown Ross (all two blocks of it), a husband and wife chef-owned lovely dining room (with patio). American nouvelle, with impeccable seasonal ingredients. A way better restaurant than those Marin know-nothings deserve. (This restaurant's Zagat rating just came out, and it's a 24.)

I like Acquerello, although it's rather a formal little oasis.

Also, for really fine Moroccan, Aziza in the Richmond just knocked our socks off. It's relatively new and very popular -- reserve. No, they do not make you sit on the floor, and yes, there are belly dancers, but only on the weekends and they make a mercifully brief appearance. Exciting flavors.

If you're down on Chestnut Street, Chaz on Fillmore/Chestnut is just delicious. Kind of unknown, and he's having a struggle getting customers, so give him your business. He used to cook for David Bouley, and knows what he's doing. One of his simple desserts just kills me -- a simple individually baked vanilla cake, still hot, with homemade ice cream. This place deserves to survive. One plus -- you can always get in!

R.G.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jaybee, I've always felt that were I to "introduce" San Francisco to a friend, and there was but one evening for dinner...it would be Tadisch. As you suggest, it's real. It has always been there (as have some of the waiters) and I'm delighted to imagine it being there, for me, when I return to the city. For me, it's the San Francisco as I first found it in 1945.

Your Ben Webster quote made me smile.

I saw him at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1959 or 1960 and he was in the group behind Jimmy Witherspoon. 'Spoon, a blues singer, was a friend of mine. I later met Webster when he was playing in LA.

Are you a musician?

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There are a whole bunch of threads on where to eat in SF.

I don't think Frascati. (I assume you mean the one on Hyde) is as good as the other places on your list. You might want to try Antica Trattoria or Baldoria (Larkin and Green) in the same neighborhood. For simpler Italian in the area, Luna Rossa (Hyde & Pacific) or Milano (same) are very good.

I had dinner with a table of people last night all of whom agreed that Boulevard was an overrated business lunch.

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Sand dabs at Tadich.  Perfection on a plate.  :biggrin:

The first time I was in SF for a 5.0 earthquake, I went with a friend to Tadich for dinner about 30 minutes afterwards, on the theory that if there were any aftershocks we'd probably be safe at a restaurant that has been around as long as Tadich has.

The food was quite good and we felt safe to boot. :)

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  • 1 month later...
Also Laurent Manrique at Campton Place (after a shaky start) did get good reviews. Campton Place is now closed for a remodel.

The November 2002 edition of Travel + Leisure depicts a foie gras sampler dish from Campton Place. "Campton Place has been redone after 19 years. Ask for the decadent foie gras cart: a terrine splashed with vanilla bean oil; a roulade wtih prune chutney; a red-wine-poacched slice with grapes; and a hickory-smoked morsel heightened by pink peppercorns." Have members sampled this foie gras dish? Note I have never visited Campton Place. :blink:

The same article depicts a mini (foie) burger (appears to have two small pieces of foie gras as patties) at Fleur de Lys. Have members sampled that?

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Cabrales,

Both Nick and I have had the foie gras "burger" at Fleur de Lys.

Current Bauer review from the Chronicle:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...7.DTL&type=food

My review:

We were each served a different presentation of foie gras - My husband had the hot foie gras - Duo of Hudson Valley Foie Gras "Bartholdi" - described as "Baeckeoffe of foie gras, truffles and fingerling potato, Seared duck burger and foie gras in a brioche Bun" (A perfect "hamburger") I had the cold Hudson valley Foie Gras - described as "foie gras and smoked duck breast in Gewurztraminer gelee-Pistachio crusted foie gras 'mi-cuit' - traditional foie gras terrine.

(http://forums.egullet.org/ibf/index.php?act=ST&f=27&t=9625&hl=fleur+de+lys)

Nick's review:

My wife’s first course was over the top! This was a small baking casserole with its lid sealed with a line of pastry. When the hostess broke the seal and lifted the lid, we were greeted with the most complex and intriguing aromas. Inside was a stew of oxtail, foie gras, fingerling potato, and summer truffle, all in a rich jus. On the side of the plate was a small seeded brioche bun with a slice of seared foie gras within

(http://forums.egullet.org/ibf/index.php?act=ST&f=27&t=10405&hl=fleur+de+lys?

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The November 2002 edition of Travel + Leisure depicts a foie gras sampler dish from Campton Place.  "Campton Place has been redone after 19 years. Ask for the decadent foie gras cart: a terrine splashed with vanilla bean oil; a roulade wtih prune chutney; a red-wine-poacched slice with grapes; and a hickory-smoked morsel heightened by pink peppercorns."  Have members sampled this foie gras dish? Note I have never visited Campton Place. :blink:

The same article depicts a mini (foie) burger (appears to have two small pieces of foie gras as patties) at Fleur de Lys. Have members sampled that?

Hi Cabrales--that was I who wrote the piece in T+L November issue; I sampled both the foie gras selection at Campton Place and the little foie gras burger at Fleur de Lys. The foie gras at Campton Place ranged from very good to stunning; I loved the roulade with prune chutney; the hickory-smoked version was very original, but I thought less successful. The presentation is wonderful, served off a cart tableside. We shared two orders for a table of four, and that was perfect, matched with a terrific Jurançon.

At Fleur de Lys, the little foie gras burger was (if memory serves) a couple little slices of seared foie on a tiny brioche bun. It accompanied a baeckeoffe of oxtail soup with wild mushrooms, sealed with a pastry crust--a spectacular dish that released a little puff of gorgeous aroma when the waiter broke the crust.

I have photos of these two dishes (they look different on the plate than they do in the T+L piece), but I can't figure out how to paste a jpeg image into this message. If someone can tell me, I'll be happy to post them...

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  • 1 month later...

I'm moving to San Francisco in January. What restaurant/s would you recommend for my first "official" meal/s as a resident? I'm looking for a restaurant that sort of epitomizes the San Francisco experience...Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Bill Daley

Bill Daley

Chicago Tribune

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1) El Toro, 17th and Mission. Carnitas super-burrito.

2) House of Nanking, Kearny & Pacific-ish. Ask the "chef" to make something special for you. He will give you a wonderful, spicy crabmeat and asparagus soup, sesame chicken, and either shrimp or scallops with snow-peas.

3) Zuni Cafe. Roast chicken (the burger is way overrated).

Welcome to town.

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