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San Francisco Italian Restaurant for 14 for birthday celebration

Thanks for the suggestions. Original Joes isn't my favorite, although I have not been to the new location.

I am thinking about :
Ristorante Ideale
E Tutto Qua
Cafe Tiramisu (walking distance - but not as good of reviews).
Thought about Scalas where I have gone for pre theatre dinners, but the reviews lately aren't great and it seems overpriced.
Any thoughts?

San Francisco Italian Restaurant for 14 for birthday celebration

Fourteen of us are descending on SF for a 70th birthday celebration - it's a 'girls' weekend of cousins, most from L.A. area. The birthday girl's request is for Italian - several of the cousins have Southern Italian roots and love pasta! What would be a great place for Italian, probably not an emphasis on seafood (like Sotto Mare) - moderate price range, not super foodie or Cal-Ital?

With 14 of us, who can get pretty loud, a small intimate bistro is probably not the best. I've had a poor dining experience at Perbacco, so not looking to return there.

Also, the restaurant should have a full bar, not just wine and beer. Some of us like our cocktails!!

Seattle Restaurant for a graduation luncheon?

Thanks for all of the suggestions, I will look into these. I probably should mention that the graduation is at Key Arena, so nearby would be nice, but not required.

Nov 25, 2014
norcalmom in Greater Seattle

Seattle Restaurant for a graduation luncheon?

I am looking for a restaurant to host a college graduation celebration on a Sunday afternoon in June. We will have 10-18 people. I would like to have a private room/area if it is 12 or more people. I have a few guests with health related diet restrictions (gluten free) and we prefer wild fish vs. farmed. We all love seafood so that would be a good choice, but are open to other ideas. I like most of the Tom Douglas restaurants as well. Most of us do not live in Seattle. I would prefer, for the larger size group, to have a custom menu where my guests can select from a few different entrees. Any ideas?

Nov 19, 2014
norcalmom in Greater Seattle

Firefly or Bistro Aix? [San Francisco]

L'Ardoise has a perfect menu for us, unfortunately they are booked both nights that we are there until quite late. I will give them a call to see if they keep some open tables. They look quite small though, so I doubt it and there are 4 of us so it makes it a little more complicated at a small bistro.

Firefly or Bistro Aix? [San Francisco]

We are driving in from the South Bay. I frequently just park the car for the weekend & take taxis or buses if I know that parking will be difficult.
From the description, I am now leaning towards Bistro Aix, where I already have a reservation vs Firefly. I cook pretty healthy at home & don't look for quinoa etc when going out... (Truffle fries though? Well yes!) I am quite partial to French Bistro food, being the Francophile that I am.

I will check out L'Ardoise as well, I'm not familiar with it.

Firefly or Bistro Aix? [San Francisco]

Any preference between these two? Looking for a great bistro for a girls weekend getaway.

Girlfriends weekend in SF - dinner & bar suggestions

I meant Nopa

Girlfriends weekend in SF - dinner & bar suggestions

Four of us are heading to SF to celebrate a birthday. Looking for suggestions of fun, lively bars for drinks before dinner. Maybe a wine bar?
We need suggestions for dinner both nights - we wanted to go to Kokarri but they are booked both nights . We don't want sushi or Mexican food. Other possibilities are Delfina, Foreign Cinema, Seven Hills, Nopu, or??? Thanks!

Wedding registry -- are these pieces sufficient?

Yes, you cannot give a knife as a gift - it's bad luck! To counter this, you put a nickel in the gift for each knife (if it is mailed) and ask the receiver to 'pay' you back with it! We have some knife collectors in our family and this is what we do, whether it is a pocket knife or a kitchen knife.

Feb 14, 2013
norcalmom in Cookware

Wedding registry -- are these pieces sufficient?

I have a different opinion on registries. I like to be able to refer to a registry to get an idea of the couple's color and taste preferences. I like a large selection, in a big price range, particularly if it is a large wedding. It gives me options and ideas, whether I buy from the registry or not. For example, if I see a large array of cooking equipment, on the list, I may buy a cookbook or two for a wedding shower present, since I can tell that is a big interest for the couple. Also, I think if the couple wants china, crystal, and silver flatware, this is the to get it since it can be quite an investment. Personally I like to give these items as wedding gifts because I feel like they are special items, used at holidays and sentimental times and something that, hopefully they will always have. I prefer to give a gift rather than money, even though money may be more practical. I think it's tacky when couples ask for money in lieu of gifts.

Feb 13, 2013
norcalmom in Cookware

Wedding registry -- are these pieces sufficient?

How about a roasting pan?

Feb 08, 2013
norcalmom in Cookware

Mother's Day weekend in Seattle

It has been awhile, but I did want to report back on our restaurant finds from this original post. Thanks so much for the suggestions, we tried several, all great food and will keep the others in mind for a return trip. Here are some culinary details from our weekend:

Friday dinner: We had a play to attend, so dinner had to be quick. We ended up going to happy hour at my hotel, The Sorrento. They had a special deal with a plated stack or 3 appetizers for $18. We shared this along with a ceasar salad that we split - perfect for a light quick meal. We tried the grilled lemon asparagus, lamb meatballs & yogurt sauce & corned beef sliders. All good. I liked the lamb meatballs the least, a little dry, but my son liked them a lot.

Sat. breakfast: I have been wanting to try Cafe Campagna for ages and never seem to work it into my trip:It is near Pike's Market, so we waited just a short time and had a lovely basic breakfast. I liked it, but wouldn't go out of my way to go back there. Well, actually I would like to try it for lunch. I do have to say that breakfast was marred for me a bit by a family sitting next to us with a toddler that was sneezing and coughing everywhere. I am a bit of a germaphobe, and that always makes me a little paranoid, especially as the kid was leaving and stuck his hands all over our table. I love kids, but sick ones, I keep my distance, unless it's my own, in which case, I just wash my hands a lot!

We went over to the Seattle Center to walk around - my son had a field trip to the theatre with a class so I saw him off and wandered a bit myself, peeking through the fence at the new Chululay art glass exhibit, which had not opened yet. We saw a few food trucks and sampled some lumpia from one of them. A great little snack!

Dinner: We had an early dinner at Quinns, which has quite an interesting small plates menu. We ordered a selection of goodies to share. Loved the salt cod fritters (fish balls)! We will be back to this one as I see other interesting items that I want to try.

Sunday brunch: It was Mother's Day and we did not want a buffet & did not want to wait anywhere. We ended up at Terra Plata just as they opened and it was a perfect choice. Great latte and fresh squeezed oj to start. Then I had a steak salad with tomatillo and cotija cheese - love the combination. My son had a hangar steak and eggs with roast potatoes. Sounds pretty basic, but it was all cooked perfectly. I sampled his potatoes, roasted to perfection. Service was a little slow since the place began filling up, but we did not care as we were not in a hurry and the servers were quite friendly and competent, just busy.

Lunch: We took advantage of the very beautiful sunny day (80 degrees - in Seattle!!!) and walked through some parks and just enjoyed being outside in the Capitol Hill area . Lots of lovely old homes there. Late afternoon we had worked up an appetite so we stopped at Oddfellows Cafe for sandwiches. It is a large with a small outside area. I have seen a few complaints on-line about their prices. However, the ingredients are fresh and high quality - you have to pay for that! I had a turkey blt. They forgot the turkey, but quickly remedied it for me. My son had the french dip with provolone. It was just wonderful.

All in all, a lovely weekend and we were especially happy to try all of the new restaurants. Can't wait til the next time!

Aug 16, 2012
norcalmom in Greater Seattle

Mother's Day weekend in Seattle

Mothers Day weekend in Seattle

I'm headed to Seattle to celebrate Mother's Day with my college son (Seattle U). Looking at some new restaurants to try - considering Teatro Zinzanni for Mothers Day lunch (in a separate thread), but also looking for other weekend restaurant suggestions.

We both love seafood, although he is not a big sushi fan, so sushi is out. We have tried most of the Tom Douglas restaurants, except Dahlia's. We also love La Presse, but have been there several times and he will want to venture away from campus. He has overdone the Pho restaurants - --great for the student budget though. We have also been to Blueacre , Ivar's, Elliots & Steelhead Diner.

Also not looking for super fancy.

We will not have a car, so interested in restaurants with easy public transportation access - downtown, capitol hill, etc.


May 03, 2012
norcalmom in Greater Seattle

Teatro Zinzanni Seattle

I'm thinking of Teatro Zinzanni as a Mother's Day lunch idea. Have seen mixed reviews of the food on Yelp - is Tom Douglas still doing the food for it? Heard that he might not be. I know that it is not just food but the whole experience of theatre and lunch - still, I hate to have a really mediocre meal for the price of it all.

May 03, 2012
norcalmom in Greater Seattle

Sharing Food with Dining "Neighbors" at Restaurants?

Not normal. I was throwing a party for my young son at a bowling alley once and had this really lowlife guy start hanging around our party obviously trying to catch my eye to have a slice of pizza. I was pretty ticked off that the management was not handling this since we were supposed to have a private area.

I did have a really good experience once in an airport - Miami? can't remember. We were waiting for our connecting flight and having a nosh in the airport. The couple next to us ordered a plate of conch which I had never seen or tasted before but we had considered ordering it. When their order arrived, they overheard me ask my husband if he thought that was the conch. They absolutely insisted that we try it and we proceeded to have a fascinating conversation with them about losing everything in the New Orleans hurricane, surviving the following days and then beginning to rebuild their home. They were also musicians and gave us their website to check out their music, which was great. You never know where sharing your food may lead!

Dinner near Golden Gate theatre

My teenage son and I will be seeing Fiddler on the Roof mid-week and looking for a good pre-theater dinner. He likes a wide variety of foods but prefers to order steak, pork, chicken, pasta or fish and chips when we are out. He also loves clam chowder. I will probably order fish, possibly meat but cannot eat pasta, unfortunately.

I am thinking about Fish and Farm. A good choice? We have been to the Grand Cafe a number of times and like it, but want to try something new. We also like Hayes Street Grill, but it's a bit far from the theatre, and once again, want to try something new. Thanks!