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Traveling with a 3 1/2 month old, but would love some great food! [San Francisco]

Here's a pretty recent thread that may help a bit:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8961...

Apr 09, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Parents in town, help!

Since they are from LA, this might not appeal, but Dona Tomas takes reservations for brunch and about half of it is more lunch focused.

Mar 31, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco lunch options - advice appreciated

I like Bar Jules in Hayes Valley for lunch quite a lot. It is more casual and smaller than the other places you've listed but delicious. Menu changes daily but you can get a sense of style from the posted menus.

http://www.barjules.com/

For Italian there is Chiaroscuro as a lunch option. It has a financial district feel but no more so than Perbacco at lunch; it also is smaller.

http://www.chiaroscurosf.com/

Mar 12, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Sunday night dinner: Sons and Daughters vs AQ or Commonwealth [San Francisco]

Well, I'll take the bait and chime in with a thumbs up for Commonwealth. I have had the tasting menu a few times, a la carte a few times, and always felt that the flavors are creative and the ingredients allowed to shine, a fine balance. We've brought friends there from out of state who have also enjoyed it, for what it's worth. Also love their wine list and pairings. I have only eaten at the bar once but it was comfortable and provided a good view of the kitchen. So I think you can't really go wrong with either AQ or Commonwealth given your parameters. I can't speak to S&D.

Mar 06, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Dressing to eat out in SF?

So true! When I know I'm going out after work outside of the financial district and I have to wear a suit that day, I will bring something (yes, all black) to change into and leave the suit at the office.

Mar 05, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Geezers Want Great Dinner in Oaktown

Not a quiet place overall (to say the least), but at A16 the two tables in the front by the old garage door are placed so that it's quiet enough for a party of four to chat. They actually appear to have reservations available tonight, so might be worth a call to see if they can guarantee you one of those tables. If you are willing to do Berkeley instead of Oakland, Riva Cucina is fairly quiet. Anyone know if Marzano on Park is quiet? I heard a rumor once that it wasn't too loud but can't attest from personal experience. Also Soi Four often is fine on the first floor.

Mar 05, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

One dinner in SF

To offer an alternative opinion, I prefer Flour + Water's pasta to Cotogna's and have never felt like I'm in a bar when I eat there. I have done the pasta tasting menu twice, once with wine pairings, and been very happy with the quality and the range of dishes. I find their stuffed pastas in particular to be very well done and creative, and with the tasting menu there's just enough of the richer dishes without so much that I got tired of them. Their vegetable starters also are often stellar.

Feb 28, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Reservation for 8, barely 1 week notice, ideas? [San Francisco]

I have not been for a few years, but for some reason Lulu came to mind. Possibly because I was trying to think of places with lots of tables? Anyway, less popular than the more obvious choices that get recommended here regularly but I have had some good meals there in the past and it might be a good backup at least--perhaps others have more recent experience and can chime in.

http://www.restaurantlulu.com/

Feb 12, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

camino (oakland)

I stopped going a couple of years ago in large part due to service issues, too. The food isn't enough of a draw for me to make up for being ignored by staff for long periods of time as I gaze sadly at my empty wine glass. I have wondered if there is something about the size of the room and layout that means certain tables fall between servers, so to speak.

Feb 10, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Pan Bagnat: Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich

Sounds great! I've done a version of this without tuna, with olive tapenade on the bread, then basil leaves, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, red peppers, thin slices of red onion, tomatoes in season (on the interior, away from the bread), etc. It's a nice vegetarian option and has the advantage of holding up a long time without refrigeration. But same idea--weighing down the sandwich and eating it later on.

Feb 06, 2014
BAnders in Home Cooking
2

4 Nights in San Fran - Help me narrow it down!

Have to concur with your friends, FWIW. I had a decent brunch there once but my few dinners have involved dishes with muddy flavors and left me wishing I'd gone elsewhere. And I think the pizza is better at Pizzaiolo, Dopo, and any number of other restaurants in the East Bay.

Feb 05, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for visiting mom + Best Cal-Italian [San Francisco]

I like Bar Jules for lunch better than for dinner, in fact! I hope you have a wonderful visit with her (and good food, it goes without saying).

Jan 17, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Suggestions for visiting mom + Best Cal-Italian [San Francisco]

It sounds as if you want to stay in SF proper, but if you are open to the East Bay, you might consider Pizzaiolo. Your description of your mom's likes just make me think she'd really enjoy it there. Bar Jules is another option for a neighborhood feel, although perhaps not as upscale as you're seeking (?).

Jan 17, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Six people ... help! [San Francisco]

Zare at Fly Trap if it's not too far from transit could work; you'd need to phone for a reservation. Maybe Range? Not sure about party of six there, though. Kokkari perhaps? You've already checked off a number of my go-to places where I want to be able to hear!

Jan 09, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Last minute saturday dinner and Sunday brunch in the city...

Range in the Mission has very good cocktails (and food) and looks like they may have some Saturday dinner reservations available. I'd say Bar Jules for brunch but they're closed through the weekend for the holidays.

Jan 03, 2014
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Holiday Gift Ideas

Those are great ideas, foodeye. I was also thinking maybe a citrus tree, olive tree, or bay tree might be nice if they have space and interest.

Dec 12, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area
1

AQ or Rich Table. Also safe to walk to AQ at night? [San Francisco]

I am a big fan of Rich Table, and from Union Square you can pick up any of the underground Muni lines at Powell, get off at Van Ness, and have a brief walk to the restaurant.

Nov 18, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Are you willing to take BART to Oakland or Berkeley? If so, it might open up further options for Saturday to replace Slanted Door. Duende is right by the 19th Street BART stop and might work; there are also some good options in Rockridge. Box & Bells is open now and is a large enough space that they might be able to accommodate a group--I haven't been yet. There's Oliveto, too. Also Comal in downtown Berkeley, which will let you reserve for 5:30 (although I don't know if there's a limit on group size). There are obviously other choices too, some in neighborhoods less BART friendly (like Jack London Square) so not as easy to get to from SF.

Nov 05, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Michael Mina or Boulevard for team lunch? [San Francisco]

One option that's worked well for me for work-related lunches is Chiaroscuro. You can hear those around you and it's a more formal room than many other places in the area.

http://www.chiaroscurosf.com/menuwine...

Oct 17, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

help for a tired palate

I am most consistently pleased by Pizzaiolo these days. (I liked Duende quite a bit the one time I went but did not float out--more of a stagger under the weight of generous portions.) Pizzaiolo's salads and other starter dishes consistently interest and satisfy, if they have fish on the menu it is always wonderful, and the pizza is stellar, as are the desserts. I always leave thinking I should go more often. I recognize it is not the same polished sort of place as Acquerello etc., however. But for food consistency and enjoyment, it's at the top of my list right now.

Oct 16, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Sunday "happy hour" in the East Bay?

Toast might work; it has cocktails, beer, wine and snacks in the afternoon on Sunday. I can't speak to the array of snacks, but it's a good space that should easily fit a group of 6 and I've enjoyed their appetizer menu in particular during the dinner hour.

Oct 14, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Santa Rosa Area Restaurant Recommendations

Monti's Rotisserie is right down the street from the Flamingo Hotel in Montgomery Village. Just last week I was back at Betty's Fish & Chips, also very close by, and had great fish and chips. I think others on this board have recommended another f&c option too, but not sure if it's as close by. Picked up two delicious crane melons from the melon barn too. Should still be in season next week I think....

Oct 07, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Birthday dinner in East Bay ... something that is not Chez Panisse or Commis

With the caveat that I've not been for a couple of years, how about Riva Cucina in Berkeley? Looks like a surprisingly decent beer selection and my recollection is that it's nice room and pretty quiet. Anyone been lately?

Oct 02, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Report back on Healdsburg

Thanks!

Sep 30, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Report back on Healdsburg

Thanks for this report. I have an early evening reservation at Chalkboard coming up but am rethinking based on your report re: noise. Were you there at prime time? I've not been to Barndiva either so maybe that's a better bet.

Sep 30, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Oakland After-Work Drink/Wine and Snack

Also in Rockridge, Toast is a nice option.

Sep 06, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Under $20 Sparkling Wine and Sauvignon Blanc For Oyster Picnic

The SF K&L also has the Reuilly that Kermit imports for a good price:

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku...

Sep 05, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Under $20 Sparkling Wine and Sauvignon Blanc For Oyster Picnic

Or try Bottle Barn or Olivers in Santa Rosa? More interesting selections.

Sep 05, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Best Under $20 Sparkling Wine and Sauvignon Blanc For Oyster Picnic

The Cheverny blanc from Domaine du Salvard (at Kermit Lynch in Berkeley) is great and reasonably priced. The Reuilly is also great but at a higher price point.

Sep 05, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area

Plum, Hopscotch, Flora or ??? [Oakland]

Great meal at Duende last night. Calamari a la plancha was particularly good, as was a savoy cabbage slaw with pistachios and an addictive lemony dressing. The lamb and hummus dish (which I take it from the server is a signature dish) is very rich but balanced by briny olives and pickled slim green beans. I had a "mineral" wine flight with an albarino and rose; albarino was good enough that I went next door after dinner and picked up a bottle. I will definitely be back and will save room for dessert next time. There was a pluot galette on the menu that I wished very much I could order.

Aug 26, 2013
BAnders in San Francisco Bay Area