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dcsells's Profile

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Memorable dinner for one near Trump Hotel?

I'll be in Chicago this Monday evening on business, staying at the Trump Hotel. This will be my first trip away after my wife and I had a baby three months ago--so while I will miss them, I am ready to treat myself to an excellent meal :) Any suggestions for a "treat yourself" meal where I won't look strange dining alone? I am open to all cuisines but would prefer it be walkable from the Trump Hotel. I am willing to spend up to $150 but could go over that if it is truly merited. Is it worth seeing if I can get Alinea tickets? What about Topolobampo and Sixteen (at the Trump)? So many options, so little time... thank you!

Mar 19, 2014
dcsells in Chicago Area

Need dinner rec near French Quarter for first-timers' first evening

Galatoire's looks great, except (1) according to the web site, reservations are required (and they don't have any room that evening), and (2) jackets are required for dinner, which is a little more formal than we'd like for our first night after traveling.

Apr 29, 2013
dcsells in New Orleans

Need dinner rec near French Quarter for first-timers' first evening

Hi all--we will be first-time travelers to NOLA this Memorial Day weekend. Needless to say, we are very excited, particularly of course for the food. So far I have made reservations at Cochon (Sat. dinner), August (Sun. dinner), and Commander's Palace (Sun. brunch).

I would appreciate a recommendation for Friday night dinner. We are looking for somewhere that would be a fantastic introduction to the city and its food, but because we will have just traveled for several hours (plane and taxi), we would like something a bit more "user friendly" -- not too formal or informal, and within easy walking distance of the French Quarter. Emphasis on seafood would be a plus (as none of our other restaurants is seafood-focused), but certainly not necessary. My wife will be about 2.5 months pregnant, so nothing raw or too upsetting along those lines.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. Choosing restaurants in New Orleans is very overwhelming! No, we're not over-structuring our entire trip -- laissez les bons temps rouler, of course -- but I do want to get a few things in place, especially if they require advance reservations on a busy tourist weekend. Thank you!

Apr 29, 2013
dcsells in New Orleans

Need suggestions for $150 gift certificate

Okay, but... do you have any constructive suggestions re the OP? Thanks.

Need suggestions for $150 gift certificate

Hello all,

I would like to purchase a $150 gift certificate for my friends, a husband and wife who let my wife and me stay at their place for four days during a recent visit to San Francisco. Unfortunately, I don't know much if anything about their culinary preferences. They are in their early 30s and live in the Marina district. I'd like a restaurant that is interesting and exciting, not an old-school place. But it should still be nice enough that it's some place they wouldn't otherwise go to without a $150 gift certificate (which need not cover the entire meal, but get them close to it). Nothing too experimental or overly one-dimensional, since I don't know their particular preferences. It doesn't have to be close to where they live, though it should probably be within a reasonable driving distance. I don't know enough about the city's dining scene to know where to start. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Please critique my 4-day SF itinerary (wife's first visit)

Sadly, Bourbon and Branch has no space that night. Maybe for the best--I'm not wild about taking my wife to the Tenderloin late at night. I'll look into Rickhouse and 25Lusk, recommended by another person above.

I think I'm going to keep trying for Mustards or Redd for dinner. Hopefully a space for 2 will open up.

I'm curious: when you say Greystone "gets horrible reviews," from whom? I did a search on these pages and the reviews ranged from rave to bad (the latter being by the same review who keeps popping up). The Tripadvisor page has pretty positive reviews (I'm new to Chowhound, so maybe Tripadvisor is seen as a little amateurish...).

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Greystone Restaurant
2555 Main St St, Helena, CA

Rickhouse Bar
246 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA

Please critique my 4-day SF itinerary (wife's first visit)

It's on the list because it's walkable from where we're staying, so if on our last night we just wanted something nearby, that would be our choice. The friends we're staying with recommended it as a neighborhood option.

But provided we are not exhausted--either in general or of seafood--we are more likely to go to Waterbar.

Please critique my 4-day SF itinerary (wife's first visit)

Sounds awesome, but the wife is no oyster fan (sadly). Maybe I'll squeeze this is if I come out to the city again for work...

Please critique my 4-day SF itinerary (wife's first visit)

Whoops--I meant Pierce and Union.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the DC bar would have something to say if I followed your advice about the Presidio!

Please critique my 4-day SF itinerary (wife's first visit)

Thanks so much. Quick responses:

1. Mexican and Italian were also off the list because (a) my wife is from Texas, and (b) my family is Italian. So while I don't doubt there are a number of amazing Mexican and Italian options in the city, it's just not at the top of our list for this trip. We very well may stop for some Mexican food (in fact, I'd like to do so); it's just not something we're going to plan for. Same with Italian.

2. I chose Farallon because it looked like a solid, upscale seafood restaurant. Saturday night is our "nice night out." Are there other, better options along that front (i.e,. that have good seafood)? I should point out that my wife does not like shellfish or raw bar, so places that emphasize that (e.g., Bar Crudo) are not as high on our list, even though I personally would like to go to them. Additionally, while we both like to eat, I am the more adventurous eater; she won't go for food that is too "experimental" or where the flavor profile is too unfamiliar (e.g., sea urchin). So the seafood options (and all options) can't be too off the chart.

3. I chose Bix because we like jazz clubs and speakeasy-type places. But I'd love to find some great mixology, as long as it's not too hipsterish. I'll look into the suggestions #1 provided.

4. I looked Tartine up on the map; since we're going from Cow Hollow to Napa, isn't Tartine (in the Mission District) pretty out of the way? I could be wrong--just asking.

5. What do people think about the CIA restaurant (Greystone) in St. Helena? That seemed pretty neat to us--we are intrigued by culinary school--and the food and wine looked good as well.

6. What do people think about Angele, in Napa, for dinner? Unfortunately, I couldn't get a reservation at our first choices--Redd, Botega, or Mustard's. Angele got a good write-up in the NYT's "36 Hours in Napa," so that counts for something. But I'd prefer not to do French while in the valley; if we wanted that, we'd just fly to France (it's a shorter flight than SF!).

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Farallon
450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Bar Crudo
655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

Bix
56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Please critique my 4-day SF itinerary (wife's first visit)

This is excellent advice -- thank you so much!

Please critique my 4-day SF itinerary (wife's first visit)

Hi all,

First-ever Chowhound post. Very exciting. My wife and I are taking a 4-day vacation from Washington, DC to San Francisco this Memorial Day weekend. I have been to the city before (for a week) and love it. She has never been, so I’m doing my best to plan a trip that will both hit the high points yet not run her ragged. I want her to love the city as much as I do, in the hopes of many return visits!

About us: we are in our late 20s/early 30s. We love to eat and be active. We’re going mainly for the scenery, the food and wine, and the outdoors. We’re not interested in museums, exhibitions, or history—at least, not this trip. Culinary interests for this trip: seafood, “California” cuisine (read: organic/healthy/fresh), wine bars, interesting food/wine pairings, and (a little less so) various Asian cuisines. Cuisines we’re not interested (mostly because we have a lot of good stuff on the east coast): Italian, Mexican/Latin American, Mediterranean, steakhouses.

We are staying at a friend’s place in Cow Hollow (near the intersection of Pierce and Hyde), so that is our “home base.” We will have a car for out-of-city trips. Our budget is basically unlimited; not that we are looking to break the bank with every meal, but we have been working hard in our jobs and are ready to pamper ourselves a little bit.

This is the tentative itinerary I’ve thrown together so far. I would appreciate any comments or reactions from locals who know their stuff. As you can see, I’m struggling the most with our day in Napa. I’ve never been to the area and just don’t know how to make a great single day out of it. It’s like drinking from a fire hose. Above all, I really want my wife to have a memorable time (and want to return!).

Friday
Breakfast at La Boulange [ANY OTHER PLACE TO GET GOOD BREAKFAST IN COW HOLLOW AREA?]
Walk around neighborhoods most of the day:
- Russian Hill/Lombard Street
- North Beach
- Telegraph Hill/Coit Tower
- Embarcadero
- Financial District
- Chinatown
- Nob Hill/Union Square
- ride cable cars
[WHERE TO GET LUNCH DURING THE ABOVE WALK OF THE CITY? ASSUME SOMEWHERE IN UNION SQUARE/FINANCIAL DISTRICT. WE COULD DO SOME PLACE IN THE FERRY BUILDING, THOUGH WE WILL BE BACK THERE THE NEXT MORNING.]
Dinner at Anchor & Hope
Drinks afterward at Bix (jazz club)

Saturday
Rent bikes
Breakfast at Ferry Building and Saturday Farmer’s Market
Bike on Embarcadero, GG bridge, Sausalito, Old Mill Park, Tiburon, ferry back.
Lunch in Sausalito, at either Fish or the Spinnaker
Dinner at Farallon (Union Square)
Afterward: drinks at Top o’ the Mark (Intercontinental Hotel)

Sunday – day in Napa
Breakfast? [SOMEWHERE AGAIN IN COW HOLLOW, OR MAYBE ON THE WAY UP TO NAPA?]
Wineries to visit: Cade, Rombauer, Quintessa [THESE WERE RECOMMENDED BY FRIENDS. WOULD LIKE TO CHOOSE ONE OR TWO MORE. WE ARE TOTAL DILETTANTES; WE JUST LIKE INTERESTING ESTATES AND MEMORABLE VISITS; WE ALSO PREFER SMALLER, MORE QUAINT WINERIES TO MASSIVE PRODUCERS]
Lunch at Mustard’s Grill? [NEED OTHER LUNCH OPTIONS]
Dinner at ??? [NEED A GREAT, “NAPA-Y” DINNER OPTION]

Monday:
Hiking in Presidio/Golden Gate Park
Muir Woods/Mt. Tamalpais
Lunch at ? [NEED LUNCH PLACE]
Dinner at Waterbar or A16 (depending on mood)
Drive to airport for 11:10 pm flight from SFO.

I know this is a little sparse… I wish we were there for a month, and not four days! But I would appreciate any thoughts or reactions. Thank you!

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A16
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

Farallon
450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Bix
56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Anchor & Hope
83 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA 94105