I know it's CH anathema to post very general questions...but finding consensus with regards to san francisco dining seems impossible! So many apologies in advance, but would love local CHers assistance. Would be happy to return the favour for any visitors to Boston.
I'm going to a conference at the Moscone Centre next week: arriving Friday, leaving Tuesday. This will be my wife's first trip to san francisco, and my first since backpacking through there c. 17 years ago. I have fond, if naive memories of dining in san francisco: it was there at the age of 10 that I had my first proper chinese meal, as well as my first taste of scallops! Both experiences literally changed my culinary life -- encouraging me to try what at the time seemed exotic cuisines, and sparking the beginning of a lifelong love affair with sea-food.
Anyway, enough of the sentimentality. I've tried reading up a bit about eating options, but have no idea how to resolve very different opinions. Both my wife and I are reasonably adventurous eaters, and eat almost anything, but both of us are teetotal, so wine selections are irrelevant for us. This is our first trip with our nearly 3 month old daughter, but we've eaten out a fair few times with her here in Boston, and she seems reasonably comfortable with the idea: not sure what it will be like for several nights in a row though.
The only thing that seems a 'must-do' is lunch at the ferry terminal building. Otherwise, we would love several reasonably priced recommendations. We can also stretch to one truly blow-out meal -- although a 4 hour affair might not work with the little one. We often go for lunch at fine restaurants, since these seem to offer better value for money. It seems natural to go for Chinese in sf, Yank Sing seems to divide opinion. Lunch at Shanghai 1930 looks good value, but is it any good (e.g. compared with the dinner). I would rather we go to a few good quality, on the cheap side places, and have one or two truly memorable meals, then go middle of the road all the way. Also, for the 'fancy' options, something that we might not get elsewhere would be appreciated. E.g. I've been to a lot of fantastic french restaurants, and (no offence) it's unlikely that anything in sf is as good as the best in London or Paris.
Also, with the baby, not sure how easy it will be getting around the place. We've mostly avoided public transport even in Boston the last few months, but hiring a car is out of the question in sf.
So, I know that I've not been too specific, but any pointers would be most appreciated.