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Great Food-Good Ambiance-Great Wine? Miami to Ft Lauderdale

Need arrange a few dinners of business friends (therefore no need to impress except with great food) next month. Have looked at Timo's (Sunny Isles), 1500, Macchialina and Scarpetta (one person really likes Italian/Med).

We are staying in Hollywood. So have also looked at Sage Oyster, Fulvio's, Hollywood Prime (Westin Hotel),

Can anyone give me a read on the best of these - or suggest others.

Wayfare Tavern - Tyler Florence's new San Francisco Restaurant

A little bit of LA attitude in San Francisco!
Its a shame, because I wanted to like this restaurant. I like Tyler Florence; I think he keeps it real with inventive and striving-for-delicious food. I also wanted to take a personal/professional friend to a place he hadn't been.
Maybe it was just a bad night, but reading the comments it sounds more systemic.
Night started bad - arrived appropriate early (6:30p) for our 7:15p reservation so we could sit at the bar and have a drink. Soak up a little of SF, since my dining companion was from the mid-west. (Ironically, we had asked for 7:30p, but they insisted the best they could do what 7:15p)
WT finally seated us at 7:45p - after being promised: 'it will just be a couple of minutes more' four times. In that interim, they seated at least 2 parties of 2 that came in without reservations. Only reason we know this is because Tony, the manager that night, conducted his "take care of VIP business" in front of us at the bar.
The polite but somewhat 'deer-in-headlights' hostesses however promised that 'we'll take care of you' upstairs. Although a glass of wine or a beer while we were losing our excitement for the dining experieince at the bar would have been better. Especially once they knew they were seating walk-ins-in front of us. Maybe with another drink, we wouldn't have noticed they were seating people ahead us, or at least we wouldn't have cared.
Nonetheless, Tony, the ever scampering manager did come by, apoligized without ever making eye contact, as he straightened the wine glasses on our table.
OK so much for first part of the evening, we were hungry.
We should have left.
We ordered the Caesar, the ricotta dumplings, chicken paillard, mac & cheese. The Caesar was good, but not special for $12; the ricotta dumplings were under seasoned, the mac & cheese with smoked gouda was interesting, and as my dinner mate said: 'if I can find the chicken, I'll share some with you. For $20, he should have gotten close to a whole chicken, similar to the portions of frie chicken being served next to us. But I guess, nothing like a lot of fried food to make people happy right?
Too full for dessert, we paid our bill ($137) and realizing that restaurant never did 'take care of us upstairs', I mentioned it to the still overwhelmed hostesses on our way out. They just said they were sorry.
I guess I am too.
When I left the LA practice of 'preferential-treatment' and 'making-people-wait' attitude 15 years ago, it was so refreshing to be in a city where the focus was on food, creativity and hospitality.
Not sure if I'll go back, there are so many other good places in town that honor their reservations. My dining companion probably will have to, he works for an industry magazine. I'll wait to see if he has a better experience.

Tyler Florence Shop
59 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA

Wayfare Tavern
558 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

Best Burgers in the Bay?

I was just in a debate with a friend - the topic: hamburgers. Not the $25 foie gras stuffed kind, the real burger. The one that drips down your hands because the chef/griddle cook isn't afraid to serve it medium rare.

The debate was between Vals in Hayward/Castro Valley and Phyllis' in San Rafael.

What are other great burger places in the Bay Area - recommendations? We're going to do a tour to resolve our dispute.

Also - opinions anyone? What is the importance of the bun in burger satisfaction? One of us said it was all about the meat and the condiments; the other one of believes that the most important part of the burger (after the perfectly cooked meat) is the bun.


Restaurant Recos for Marco Isl & Amelia Isl

We are headed to these two areas in the next few weeks. Would love insights into GREAT food places - regardless of price (high or low). Thanks!

Feb 14, 2008
parvenrom in Florida