689 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105
I've eaten at Ame three times and have enjoyed each of my visits. The only draw back for me is the oddness of eating Italian and Japanese food during the same dinner. During my recent visit I had the tasting menu and was served excellent dishes such as a sashimi sample, country pate, sake marinated black code and the lamb osso buco. The space is elegant without being stuffy. You can dress casually and not feel like your standing out. Service is also flawless.
817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Canteen is one of the great unique restaurants in San Francisco. There are dozens of small wonderful restaurants for foodies like this in New York but for some reason they are a rarity here. Its an extremely small restaurant and its difficult to get into, which turns off a lot of folks. But, those who persist will find themselves rewarded with imaginative gourmet food at very reasonable prices. This is Chef Dennis Learys playground and if you go in with an open mind and leave your attitude at the door then you are bound for a great experience.
Oliveto Cafe & Restaurant
5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
Oliveto easily stands as one of my favorite restaurants in the bay area. The food is always reliably great and at times outstanding. The pastas are fresh and usually excellent. The grilled meats are succulent. One of my favorite things is to sit at the bar, order a few appetizers and let John, the sommelier, pick out the wine. I highly recommend their special dinners they organize around such items as Hogs or Truffles. I think what really brings me back time after time is the warmth of the atmosphere and the wonderful staff.
1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131
If you are into Italian wine then nothing compares to Incantos wine bar. They have an excellent selection of wines by the glass. I found the food to be consistently solid during all of my five or six visits. On my recent visit I had excellent dishes such as sardines with radishes and olive oil, cold squab with pine nuts and raisins and a wonderful blood sausage and egg appetizer served in an iron skillet. Desserts are good, not great.
470 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
Besides being beautifully designed, I didnt find much to entice me to return. I was especially turned off by the wines that they had available by the glass. The menu also wasnt particularly interesting. I had the sea bass, which was average and the pumpkin soup, which was tasty. I thought the portions were small, especially the soup.
2316 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
There is something very charming about La Folie. The staff is very professional and warm. The room is comfortable and elegant without being stuffy. Each time I attend I always end up having a very fulfilling experience. I would describe the food as classic French with a creative twist. Most of the time its very good such as the stuffed sea bass, crab napoleon or the tuna wrapped in rice paper. Some times its superb such as the sturgeon with oxtail or the goat cheese tatin. Once in awhile you get something that didnt work such as a stuffed quail. I wouldnt rate it four stars, but its still solid cooking.
Fleur De Lys
777 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
The new remodeled space is gorgeous. I ordered five courses and was very pleased. The cold foie gras plate was superb. Also wonderful was the two amuse bouches, a selection of three soups (lobster bisque, oxtail consomme and a chilled salsify vichyssoise), prawns with melon and mint and a peach mousse cake for desert. The cheese course was not particularly interesting. The biggest surprise was how poor the wine pairings were. I had four wines and each was weak and did not add anything to the dish. The wine pairings at Campton Place and The Ritz Carlton are brilliant. The service was good but not as flawless as other high end restaurants Ive been to. At times the service seemed hurried and tense. The crowd was also a bit too ritzy for my taste. I will definitely return mostly for the excellent food.
Dining Room Ritz Carlton
600 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108
I was highly impressed with my first visit. I splurged and did the 9 course tasting menu with wine pairings. Almost all the dishes was creative and showcased the chefs mastery. Highlights were the two fish dishes, Japanese butterfish and lobster, and the two meat dishes, quail and beef. There was also a luxurious foie gras in a peach vanilla butter sauce. The portions were surprisingly large compared to other tasting menus Ive had. The wine pairings were superb. The service was flawless. The atmosphere of the hotel and its lush dining room is a bit over the top, but I found it more amusing than bothersome.