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"Fine" dining on Frenchmen Street?

Is there such a thing? I'm looking for somewhere to eat before listening to music, not late night, after drinking. The goal is to have an expense account-worthy dinner, then have the younger members of the group on Frenchmen, where they want to be.

Or, should I give up on this idea, book a restaurant, then cab over?

Apr 16, 2011
sjb in New Orleans

Dining a the bar

The weekend story in the Wall Street Journal about restaurants expanding their bars/lounges and associated food offerings rang a bell for me. This is exactly how I eat in San Francisco. I've seen a lot of great restaurants described here, but cannot get a sense for the bar.

Any recommendations for downtown Chicago area (within easy reach of the Intercontinental Hotel)? The ideal place would have a full bar and a conversational bartender who might teach us something about wine/liquor. The cocktails would be made with freshly squeezed juices and herbs. Two of us would be able to sit down at the bar at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night and order an appetizer and an entree. The food would be some kind of Contemporary American. On Sunday, I'd be looking for the same thing but I'd be more concerned that the place would be empty, rather than too crowded.

Sorry in advance, there are probably postings on this topic, but I couldn't find them.

Apr 06, 2009
sjb in Chicago Area

Marina/Monterey Italian or Pizza

I'm looking to plan a dinner for 12 people on a Friday night close to Marina, and we could go as far as Monterey. I am paying the bill for all 12 people, so cheap is definitely required. THe group would definitely be happy with a pizza/pasta option, and might like Asian food too. The ideal setting would be loud enough to accomodate kids, and spacious enough that individuals standing or changing seats in order to converse with more than the person sitting next to them would not bother the other patrons. Another plus would be a place that takes reservations for a group this size.

Mar 17, 2009
sjb in California

Foods you love at Trader Joe's that got discontinued? [OLD]

I not only noticed the lack of Kosher beef, but what happened to the beef tenderloin filets? They were priced at about $13.99/lb and were as good as the butcher's $20+/lb steak. No sign indicating the steaks were still in distribution, either in San Francisco or in Seattle.

Jul 14, 2008
sjb in Chains

Corkage Fee/Policy at Crush

They charged us $30 for one bottle. Given that the four of us also purchased a bottle of champagne from the list, 2 glasses of Sauterne, plus some after dinner drinks, I thought they might have comped the corkage, and was surprised when they did not.

Jan 21, 2008
sjb in Pacific Northwest

PV opinions on Vista Grill, La Kliff, Xitomates, La Palapa, etc...

I'd have a drink at Vista Grill, but dine elsewhere. View is spectacular. Food is okay, but you can definitely do better. I have consistently been impressed by both service and food at Xitomates. And, they'll accomodate your diet.

Feb 26, 2007
sjb in Mexico

Westlake/Firefly is Way Too Far

Ended up at Bamboom and enjoyed it. Had a reservation for a table, but ended up eating at the bar, since the owner was so friendly.

In contrast, we tried to get a drink at Moz Buddha Bar the following night. It was 10:15, the place had 20 people in the bar, and they told us, "Sorry, we're closed." They literally locked the door behind us when we left. In San Francisco, if it's before 1:30, if you have more than 20 people in your bar, you keep pouring drinks.

Feb 23, 2007
sjb in Los Angeles Area

Westlake/Firefly is Way Too Far

Thanks. I was skeptical of the food quality based on the P6 description on OpenTable, "P6 Restaurant & Lounge enjoys it's status as one of the highest volume establishments between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara"

Feb 16, 2007
sjb in Los Angeles Area

Westlake/Firefly is Way Too Far

I'm visitng Westlake this Saturday night from SF. If I was staying elsewhere in the Valley, I'd dine at Firefly, for the combination of food and "happening" atmosphere, or Max, for the food.

This Saturday we don't want to drive that far. I realize the selections in Westlake are extremely limited. Thinking about Bamboom. Is it a decent mix fo food/atmosphere, or is it all about the cocktails? I like eating in a lounge, but don't to be eating in the middle of a dance floor. Thoughts? Is there any age-diversity or is everyone 20-something?

Feb 15, 2007
sjb in Los Angeles Area

Xiomara Report (long)

Visiting SF Chowhound had a disappointing experience at Xiomara Saturday before seeing Fences at the Pasadena Playhouse. It was okay, but not the special experience I had hoped for, and thought the service was particularly amateurish.

I had reserved Cafe Atlantic thoug Open Table, but having never been there, did not realize that I had been seated in Xiomara. Not the worst outcome, but I do think that the host should have confirmed what I wanted, rather than simply seating me in the high end establishment.

When seated, I decided to take the seating at Xiomara instead of Cafe Atlantic as a sign, because the menu looked great, and I had read all the good press. Started with their special mojito. Overall, it was fine, but the glassware angled so that the glass looks like it was tipping over, which made it unsteady. I also thought it and was kind of tacky for a classy restaurant. Wine by the glass came with an empty glass and the wine in little carafes, so that the glass itself did not get changed. Also found the wine list kind of odd--bottles were either very cheap, or fairly expensive. Nothing in the middle ($40-$50) range, and not a single Zinfandel (which would have gone with my pork entree).

The salad and egg roll appetizers were competent, but nothing special. After our appetizers were delivered, our waiter announced someone else would be taking care of us. When entrees were delivered, we found that the original waiter had confused my order, ordering me pork hash instead of the special pork tenderloin. 20 minutes to make a new one. I was very nice about it, and sampled off my companion's plates. Flank steak was great--tender, a little spicy. Giant shrimp were not bad, but the mango sauce was much too subtle for me. When the pork tenderloin finally came out, it was nicely done. Nothing particularly Latin about it, but the pork was moist, I enjoyed the spicy peppercorn crust and the rich risotto underneath. My primary complaint is how they handled the mixup. It was the other waiter's problem, and he wasn't there anymore. We were offered nothing for the inconvenience. A small gesture, such as comping the glass of wine I ordered while waiting for my dinner, or comping the coffees would have been sufficient.

Overall, no one in the house looked experienced enough to complain to and we had a show to see, so I didn't bother. Tab for 2 appetizers, 3 entrees, 3 cocktails and 3 glasses of wine was about $180 before tip.

Sep 05, 2006
sjb in Los Angeles Area

Please Help: Near Woodland Hills Marriott

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Know anything about a place on Calabasas Road called Native Cafe and Gathering Grounds? Their website says they have gourmet cuisine, a full bar and live music.

Sep 01, 2006
sjb in Los Angeles Area

Please Help: Near Woodland Hills Marriott

From SF, visiting family/friends over Labor Day and staying at the Woodland Hills Marriott. I could use lots of help.

1) I'd like to take my suburban friends somewhere cool in the Valley for dinner that they don't know about. Last time, Firefly in Studio City fit the bill. Anything similar, closer?

2) For my mom, I'm really just looking for something other than Promenade Mall or Calabasas Commons, where she goes all the time. Her preference is generally straightforward American/Italian cuisine but it's not a hard and fast rule. We have gone to Piacere on Ventura and enjoyed the patio, but the last few times I haven't been thrilled with the food. Other ideas Preferred range probably from Agoura to Encino.

3) A place near the hotel we can get a drink after we finish with friends and family. Friendly bartender a plus.

Thanks in advance.

Aug 30, 2006
sjb in Los Angeles Area

San Franciscans Eating at the Bar

We're two Chowhounds visiting from SF. We'll be in town on a Wednesday and Thursday night, staying at the Soho Grand. In San Francisco we eat a lot of meals at the bar-- we like the sociability of chatting up the bartender and/or engagaging in small talk with other customers, and the option to order a little or a lot of food.

The criteria:
- Some complexity in the food--Closer to foie gras than burgers.
- Bartenders who make their customers feel welcome, and who are likely to pour new things for us to try
- Budget not a serious constraint

The bar at Veritas and WD-50 have been suggested. Other thoughts? (I'm not trying to start another thread about WD-50--but I will say I've read the posts and am intrigued.)

Jul 25, 2006
sjb in Manhattan

Dinner for 10

I'm looking for a place to do a Saturday night dinner for 10 people, 6-8 adults and two 14-year olds. I'm looking for something with reasonably large portions to satisfy the growing boys, that provides the out-of-towners some type of SF experience, but will also satisfy the chowhounders among us. Ideally this place would be located such that the parents could put the kids in a cab back to a Union Square hotel, and the adults could stay out for cocktails.

I'm thinking 2223 Market would be a good balance, because they handle large groups fairly well. Any other great ideas?

Jul 24, 2006
sjb in San Francisco Bay Area