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Looking for recommendations for friends visiting from Germany

Thanks everyone - these are great suggestions and I appreciate your time and input.

May 05, 2015
farmersdaughter in Manhattan

Looking for recommendations for friends visiting from Germany

I live in SF and come to NY 4 or 5 times a year to visit, but I have a challenge that I could use help with - good friends of mine from Munich are making their first trip to NY in June and have asked me to help them with their restaurant choices. They are sophisticated city dwellers and speak perfect English. The things they have asked for are things I don't know what to do with, as they are more on the touristy side of things. Here are their specific requests of things they want to do while in NY (and if you can think of anything else, please chime in!):

--Chinese food in Chinatown (Noodle Village? or?)
--Steak house
--NY style pizza (John's? or ?)

I am also going to suggest that they go to Russ & Daughters or Russ & Daughters Cafe, and/or Katz for a pastrami sandwich. Anything that would help with their list, or any other quintessential NY food experiences would be really great. Thanks!

May 02, 2015
farmersdaughter in Manhattan

Week in SF - Critique this list and suggest a meal

I am not sure why Super Duper burgers is on your list. To me they are not special burgers at all - closer to fast food. If you want a really good burger, go to Wayfare Tavern or Marlowe.

Looking for some new spots in Mission/Noe Valley area [San Francisco]

Concur on Bar Tartine and St. Vincent. Also Namu Gaji and Yuzuki.

Locanda is owned by the same people as Delfina but the food at Locanda is Roman inspired rather than Cal-Italian as at Delfina.

you go away for a week, and the food you miss most is....

No matter where I go other than the west coast, it's a big salad that I want to have the minute I get home. With quality lettuce and other veggies.

For all you AQ lovers: TBD [San Francisco]

I wrote to them to ask why if they were trying to be a neighborhood place they opted for prix fixe only and was told that you can still get a la carte at both TBD and AQ at the bar if you are just stopping by for something light.

Mom's 77th birthday dinner in San Francisco?

We take my 11 year old niece with us to Foreign Cinema and to La Mar. Of course there is only one of her, not three, so I can't say how things would turn out with three children. You might want to look at some threads for dining with children.

My parents also love Tadich, my niece not so much.

Mom's 77th birthday dinner in San Francisco?

My parents are the same age, and they love Foreign Cinema. It's generally not too blaringly loud for them especially earlier in the evening on a weekday.

They also love La Mar.

Restaurant to recommend for a very special wine (Cheval Blanc 1950)

I like simply prepared lamb dishes with aged Bordeaux like yours - nothing too smoky/heavily grilled, no strong sauces (no garlic and nothing too acidic).

They have a delicious lamb tenderloin dish on the menu often at La Ciccia.

I also think Kokkari might have a roasted rack of lamb, but am not sure.

But it sounds like you might want a more sedate, upscale experience than these two restaurants? If so, then maybe Alexander's Steakhouse might be a nice choice. I'm sure they have lamb as well as beef dishes.

Moving to SF - Critique my list of neighborhood must-trys?

Just to clarify, there aren't any tables or chairs at Lucca Ravioli but you can take your sandwiches to Dolores Park (or Juri Commons, which is closer). But note that they don't have any vegetables to put on the sandwiches, just meat and cheese. If you want lettuce, onion, tomato, they can't accommodate you. They will give you packets of mayo and yellow mustard but no other sandwich spreads are available, although I guess if you asked them nicely they might put some of their housemade pesto on it for you - but I've never asked them to do that. Nevertheless, a great selection of Italian salumi and cold cuts. Their regular "Italian" style ham is under the radar screen delicious.

Moving to SF - Critique my list of neighborhood must-trys?

Here are some ideas for you (I live in the Mission and work in SoMa):

Balompie Cafe (pupusas) or La Santaneca
The Pizza Shop for NYC style slices
Bar Tartine (splurge) (you already have that one)
Izakaya Yuzuki
Namu Gaji (you already have that one)
Pizzeria Delfina
Gajalee (Indian)
Pauline's Pizza
Heirloom Cafe (splurge)
Delfina (splurge)

Una Pizza Napoletana
Merigan Subs
1058 Hoagie
Zero Zero
Coco500 (splurge)
Marlowe (splurge)
The Fly Trap (splurge)

Food Delivery to Hotel [San Francisco]

I use Postmates to order from Lers Ros (Thai). Choose the one in the Tenderloin for the delivery. I also think Lers Ros has its own in house delivery, although not sure if it's faster than using Postmates.

Work lunch in SF for under $30

What about Yank Sing? I usually get out of there for under $30 - but I stick with the steamed items and pork buns. I'm not sure how expensive some of the other stuff is.

Saturday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building [San Francisco]

Yes, grayelf, only on Saturdays and they're in back almost at the end of the area where Downtown Bakery is located.

Saturday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building [San Francisco]

Eating - I don't like sweet things in the morning, and also not spicy food that early. If I liked spicy, I'd eat at Primavera all the time - and if you don't eat a lot of Mexican food, I'd put it high on your list.

Della Fattoria has delicious savory turnovers with things like leeks and cheese in them, that I can handle even when hung over. And a coffee from Sightglass or Blue Bottle is a must. I like to stop by the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant for a glass of sparkling wine as well. You can bring food with you - either your breakfast food, or get a loaf of bread from Acme, cheese from Cowgirl or Andante and salumi from Boccalone.

Purveyors -- Iacopi for shelling peas, favas and artichokes, Little potatoes for potatoes, Star Route for greens, Dirty Girl and Knoll for anything they have.

Girls weekend - Friday dinner [San Francisco]

I like the Verbena idea. Also consider La Mar, which someone else mentioned. It's good for a group of six. I would scratch La Ciccia for that reason alone. It's my favorite restaurant in SF, but I don't think it's great for a group of that size.

Locanda is super fun for a group like yours.

Did you look at the Cavalier? That would be lots of fun, great cocktails and food that should please everyone.

Looking for authentic Cacio e pepe in Bay Area

If you make it yourself, make sure to use like 1/4 cup of hot pasta water, and keep it moving when you stir it around with the pasta and cheese, OFF the heat. And do not use pecorino romano, because it doesn't melt evenly. Use a younger sheep's milk cheese. And don't grind the pepper too fine, and be generous with it. I sometimes add cooked guanciale or pancetta to the dish - it is a nice addition.

I have had Locanda's, and it's good, but nothing better than I could do at home. Not a hard recipe to do in a restaurant as long as the cook is not sloppy.

Boozy Tribeca Lunch

You're right, just weekend brunch. Too bad.

Apr 29, 2014
farmersdaughter in Manhattan

Boozy Tribeca Lunch

Great suggestions - thanks to you both! I've eaten at Odeon and Blaue Gans before, but will check out Distilled and Cercle Rouge.

Apr 28, 2014
farmersdaughter in Manhattan

Boozy Tribeca Lunch

I'll be dining on a Friday in late May with two friends, and we're specifically looking for a good place for the three of us to have lunch and good wine or cocktails. Tribeca makes the most sense given where we'll be going to after lunch, so I'd love any suggestions. Price per person (without alcohol) about $30-40, and we'd specifically like to avoid really casual "maintenance meal" restaurants geared toward office workers, since that's what we eat every day! Many thanks.

Apr 27, 2014
farmersdaughter in Manhattan

Weekday brunch - cool spot and neighbourhood [San Francisco]

I'd consider the Hayes Valley neighborhood as well. There is a plethora of interesting, independent clothing boutiques there, many of which to me are more interesting than those on Valencia Street.

For food, I love Samovar Tea Lounge, or you could go to Lers Ros for terrific Thai food.

Marla baker (mission, SF)

I have had their salt bagel. Pretty good, but not comparable to a good New York bagel. A lot of the other baked goods looked great so I will definitely be back to try them.

Nopa or perbacco [San Francisco]

In an attempt to get things back on track as to the OP's original question, here's my take. Nopa is a bit more casual in feel, has a more "farm to table" style menu that is typical of San Francisco cuisine especially as exemplified in the past 15ish years (maybe more?). Obviously trends in dining change, but Nopa is a solid, quintessential "SF style" restaurant. Perbacco to me feels a little more brasserie-like, slightly more upscale and refined than Nopa. I can't say for sure whether either or both places have tablecloths, but I suspect Nopa does not and Perbacco does, if that helps you any. And also as others have noted, Perbacco is solidly Piemontese, using mostly local ingredients, and executed brilliantly. It's more a choice of what kind of food you want to eat, and what atmosphere you want. If I moved to NY, and was coming back to SF for a visit, I'd choose Nopa, because Perbacco to me is easier replicated in NY than Nopa is.

Birthday dinner in SF for 18 year old

I think Foreign Cinema would be a fun place for an 18th birthday. Good atmosphere and if it's nice you can sit outside. There's something for everyone on the menu.

Fresh masa items, made to order

I have always loved the fresh handmade tortillas at La Palma Mexicatessen on 24th in the Mission in SF, but I don't know if they're made from fresh masa or masa harina. But they taste really good.

High-end and about average restaurants in Union Square, SF

I really like Claudine for lunch, and think the space is much more pleasant than her older brother Cafe Claude. It's not "high end", but is a nice sit down place for a good French inspired bistro style lunch.

Also for dinner consider The Cavalier for elevated British pub food with a great bar.

Unsalted pistachios

Rainbow has really nice shelled raw pistachios in bulk.

Uno Dos Taco [Russian Hill, San Francisco]

I went by this afternoon to try the fish taco. I am very impressed and can't wait to try more of the menu. The fish was crispy and not overbattered, and that tortilla was amazing. I don't like out of season tomatoes but the pico de gallo was flavorful and the rest of the salsa had *almost* the right acid level. I should have asked for an extra wedge of lime, even if I had to pay extra for it due to the lime price spike we're experiencing. The lime that was served to me only supplied about four drops of juice. It needed just a bit more. One of the best Baja-style fish tacos I've had in Northern California.

Uno Dos Taco [Russian Hill, San Francisco]

Beautiful photo of that fish taco, Melanie. I was a little surprised at the inclusion of pico de gallo in the taco. Most of the Baja style fish tacos I've had do not include it. Perhaps they're taking a little poetic license? In any event, I've got to get over there soon.

House made bagels

I had the salt bagel from Marla Bakery for breakfast this morning. It's actually a good bagel by SF standards but doesn't compare to some of my favorites in New York, like Tal Bagel, Ess-a-Bagel, even Russ & Daughters (not sure who makes the R&D bagels). The exterior was too "done" for my taste and was crunchy and blistered all over. To me that means it was baked at too high a temperature. The flavor of the bagel was great, and the internal texture was perfect. The other issue I had with it was that the bagel was simply too flat compared to the other NYC bagels I mentioned. I don't mean that it should be fluffy or cakey, but it wasn't high enough. They served it lightly toasted with dilled farmers cheese and some pickled baby carrots alongside. For $5 as compared to a plane ticket to New York, I'll go back to Marla again, but I can't say it's close enough to a New York bagel to make me completely satisfied. I'm thinking I need to just roll up my sleeves and make my own to see how hard it is to approximate the kind of bagel I'm looking for.