Well if you have been debating which of the first-tier restaurant (Masa's, Charles Nob Hill, Fleur de Lys, Fifth Floor, Gary Danko, etc.) in the city you should go next time, take my advice and go to Elisabeth Daniel next time. The tasting menu costs $95, and the wine pairing is $70. Many extra goodies from the kitchen, and JB and I each got something totally different for each of the courses. Truly excellent ambience, service, food (varied and complicated but never heavy contemporary French). There were bits here and there that separated the amazing food from perfection as in the French Laundry, e.g. the flavors didn't click completely harmoniously--to explain these would take many words, but every dish was amazing.
It was a blast to look at the relatively small kitchen through the large glass wall while walking to and from the restroom.
One thing we didn't like was there were way too many white wines in the dinner. Sure they could have used more lighter reds like some pinot for the courses, if they thought heavier red wine wouldn't go with the many light dishes.
We were told Daniel is in the middle of opening another restauarant, and Elisabeth Daniel will be "downgraded" (not our server's exact word) to be more mainstream.
I always have very high expectations going to a top-tier restaurant, and Elisabeth Daniel is one of the very few ones that has exceeded my expectations.
Final grade: A (would be an A+ if not for the wine)
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