I'm a visiting DC 'hound in CA for a few days on business and had dinner last night at La Suite (100 Brannan St, SF) and thought it was worth a post. I had read somewhere that the staff at La Suite were very friendly and eager to please, and this was borne out by my experience. I arrived early to meet someone and decided to sit at the bar while I waited. There the bartender took my order (a pastis) and then offered me the menu and wine list to have something to read. This prompted a discussion of the wine list (relatively reasonable) and the menu (very broad and extremely interesting), with the bartender clearly enthusiastic about several of the dishes, particularly the beef dishes.
When my friend arrived we were seated and immediately offered our choice of waters, including a report on the difference between Perrier (big bubbles) and Badoit (little bubbles). We opted for Badoit. The menu really is a challenge if you are even slightly indecisive, since there are a wide range of dishes that sound so good. Our waiter, who was French with a somewhat thick (though enjoyable) accent, was very patient with our indecision, and offered some assistance. In the end, I chose the mushroom and sweetbread fricassee as a starter and the diver scallops with mushrooms and sea urchin jus as the main, while my friend had steak tartare and one of the night's specials, a roasted halibut. All of these dishes were excellent, particularly the scallops/sea urchin, which had a flavor very redolent of the sea. For dessert we opted for a selection from the very thorough cheese cart, receiving at least a dozen tastes of different cheeses for a (relatively steep, I suppose) $22. All this we washed down with a 2003 Chateau de Sancerre Sancerre.
The room is large and was full of diners clearly enjoying their meals, and yet the noise level was unobtrusive and at no time did we feel at all rushed. Our total bill was just shy of $150, which from a DC perspective is high but from my experience of SF seems about par for the course.
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