I will be going to SF with my mother from DC over July 4 and need your help to pick out restaurants! So far, it is a blank slate as to where we will be eating.
We land on Friday (July 2) just in time for dinner. We are staying at a hotel near the airport (which I realize is a good 30 minutes outside of the city) but we will have a rental car. As we will have been flying for the majority of the night and jetlagged, and I will be tired from working all day/week, do you have any suggestions for a restaurant that serves good food and is close to the airport area? I don't think either of us will be in the mood to battle traffic/parking and eat in SF.
On Saturday (July 3), we are headed up to Napa for vineyard tours at the Rubicon Estate and the Hess Collection. I have tentatively made reservations at Bouchon for lunch. Is this a good or bad choice? The last time I was in Napa, I wanted to head to French Laundry or Bouchon, but was unable to make it. In addition, we need a place to eat dinner at, either in Napa area or SF. What are your suggestions? The last tour ends at 2:45 pm and after hanging around the estate for a little bit, I think we will be ready to leave by 4 pm. With holiday traffic in mind, I'm thinking it may be wise to head back to SF versus staying in wine country. Thoughts?
Sunday (July 4) we will be visiting a friend of mine in San Jose. I realize this is a SF board, but if you have any suggestions for lunch and dinner in San Jose or between SF and San Jose, please let me know.
Monday (July 5) we are leaving in the middle of the afternoon so we will be needing a place to eat lunch. As my mom is a stereotypical tourist, we are doing the morning tour of Alcatraz and possibly stopping by Boudin Bakery at the Wharf to see bread being made through the windows. Any wharf restaurants that you suggest? I know there are plenty of them.
My mom is a VERY picky restaurant goer, so here are some stipulations -
1. The restaurant cannot be loud.
2. Servers must be polite and preferably not wear perfume.
3. She does not like sitting at cramped tables so keep space in mind.
4. She does not like hole in the wall restaurants even if the food is amazing. (We have had many battles about this point before as I am the opposite and cherish hole in the wall places.)
This is her first time to San Francisco and I would love for her to try cioppino and sanddabs. I know that Tadich is the touristy place to go for both...but I have seen some very unflattering reviews from many SF hounds on Tadich. The other places mentioned on some boards have also had comments about the restaurant being "loud" (please refer to Mama rule #1). In addition, my mom does not like ethnic food, so no Chinatown visits for dim sum (this is something that makes me cry as I love dim sum from SF). She likes the basics - seafood, steak, sandwiches, and salads. Regardless of all of this, I would like for us to enjoy our eating SF experience as I know there is so much delicious and amazing food there.
I realize this is a lot to ask for - please think hard for me SF hounds!
The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599
1991 Saint Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA
6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599