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San Francisco Bay Area

Gary Danko's: Where is the Emperor's new clothes? [SF]


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Gary Danko's: Where is the Emperor's new clothes? [SF]

arepo | Nov 30, 2012 06:20 AM

I know I am in the vast minority and that's okay with me -- I guess I just didn't "get the vibe."
After reading all of the superb reviews, and being somewhat of a foodie myself, I couldn't wait to experience Gary Danko's, my highlight choice of our trip.
But truth to tell, after the initial seating with very competent and able service persons (actually I found them not to be completely sincere) our opinions of the actual food itself were disappointing.
The bass and branzino both looked like rectangular squares with hard top coatings and were grilled making them less than tender. My mate's plate was so sparse it kind of took us both aback. The flavors were okay but for a restaurant with a top reputation, I could name plenty of others that serve these choices with more delicacy.
Wine choices were excellent and attention was always forthcoming -- maybe too much so for our "simple" tastes. In a way, we kind of felt like we were in a wee bit of a pretentious room -- and noisy to boot -- rather than a comfortable upscale place, and that is entirely our fault.
Coming fom NY, we should surely know the difference between the Per Se and Daniel-type places from the less "remarkable" EMP, Marea, Lincoln and La Silhouette, whose atmospheres please our tastes more.
Perhaps "fancy upscale" is a good description for Gary Danko's, so I take full blame for not knowing ahead of time that this type of restaurant just wasn't our cup of tea.
We recognize it is an obvious cut above and the choice of many and the experience was an interesting one with well prepared food in the main -- just not outstanding for the constant kudos it seems to get.
All in all, it was an interesting experience but one that left us a wee bit disappointed.

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