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ben iarwain's Profile

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A Rad and Romantic Night Out?

So, my girlfriend and I are heading to SF for a few days later this month and I'd like to surprise her by taking her out to a hell of a meal, while impressing her with my uncanny ability to squirrel out what would, if we lived there, be our favorite place in the city.
These are my criteria, in order of importance: creative and rich dishes (we are not big on, say, very classic French cuisine, or anything too delicate as a rule); romantic and/or hip atmosphere where we won't feel rushed; warm and helpful staff who can recommend a good bottle of wine without making me feel like an idiot (Chowhound has helped me find Ouest in NY, Splendid in Toronto, Clarklewis in Portland and they've all been outstanding). I've been saving up for this one for a little while, so for once, price will not be an object. Bonus points for being near main public transit lines, and even more bonus points for a place with great foie gras, duck, and lamb.
If anyone's got any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! I spent some time looking around on the net for SF's review-based websites and haven't come across anything too promising just yet. Any tips for a good user-review restaurant site? I am also looking for very inexpensive gems around SF and along the coast north of SF.
Thanks so much!
Nick

Oct 09, 2008
ben iarwain in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Romantic Gourmet Rest. in the city?

thanks everyone for the advice! we'll be going out to splendido; let you know how it went!

May 15, 2007
ben iarwain in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Burger in Portland

The Slow Bar on Grand is a dim, hip little bar with huuuge booths and the best burgers in the city, plus it's open late.

May 08, 2007
ben iarwain in Pacific Northwest

Coming to Portland for a week...

I second OLEA. It is the best restaurant in the city, as far as I'm concerned, except maybe for clarklewis in the SE Industrial dist. As for hole-in-the wall type places, Nicholas' on Grand right near the Burnside Bridge has fantastic Lebanese food for next to nothing, though you'll have to wait in line most nights, now that the weather's nice again. If you've got some time for breakfast, try Zell's at SE 13 (?) and Morrison.

May 08, 2007
ben iarwain in Pacific Northwest

Best Romantic Gourmet Rest. in the city?

So, my girlfriend and I are heading to Toronto for a week from Portland, OR while she attends a microbiology conference. She's recently completed her undergraduate studies and I'd like to surprise her by taking her out to a hell of a meal, while subtly impressing her with my uncanny ability to squirrel out the finest atmosphere in the city.
These are my criteria, in order of importance: creative, rich, gourmet dishes; romantic and/or hip atmosphere where we won't feel rushed; warm and helpful staff who can recommend a good bottle of wine without making you feel like an idiot. I've been saving up for this one for a little while, so for once, price will not be an object. Also, we will be relying on public transportation or maybe a cab if need be, so it can't be too far off the beated path..we will be staying near the Spadina and Bloor subway stop.
If anyone's got any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! I spent some time looking around on the net for toronto's equivalent of citysearch or barflymag.com and haven't come across anything helpful yet. Any tips for a good user-review restaurant site?
Thanks so much!
nick

May 08, 2007
ben iarwain in Ontario (inc. Toronto)