My husband and I are coming to the SF Bay area this weekend. We are infrequent visitors to the city, and enjoy good food! I did tons of research on the discussion boards for good places to eat in SF and Napa, but am having difficulty narrowing my list. I've been a lurker on the discussion boards for some time and this is my first post...
Well be in SF only one night, staying in Union Square. We arrive Saturday the 11th and then head to Napa on the 12th. We'll be in Napa the 12-15 (taking the red eye home the night of the 15th). We're celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary (I can't possibly be that old!!!) We live in Cincinnati, so we're not in a major food destination... We will have a car, but are certainly open to public transportation (sometimes its easier).
Our budget is flexible...by this I mean price won't eliminate an option, but my thinking is that there are so many 'great' restaurants in the area that we can seriously enjoy that will run the gamut. I don't think the 'top end' restaurants are necessary (TFL, Ritz Dining Room), as anywhere we go will likely impress us.
What we like: variety, tasting menus! (we're pretty open)
Prefer to avoid: seafood focused restaurants (i.e. Bar Crudo), barbecue
In SF, our plan is to go the Ferry Building Saturday for lunch. I tried to get in to Gary Danko but they are booked and we're on the wait list. I tried Commis but they are closed through the 14th. We're currently booked at Aziza. I was also looking at Perbacco and Incanto based on other postings. (the La Folie menu posted online doesn't do much for me...but it is also 2 years old!). Maybe Yank Sing for dim sum prior to heading to Napa on Sunday? Thoughts?
In Napa, we're booked at Ubuntu for the actual night of our anniversary. I'm also looking at CIA as a must...but for lunch or dinner?? Others I'm considering,, maybe Redd or Martini House? But then I'm thinking is it 'too much of a good thing' ... too many great restaurants that they'll lose their luster? I don't want to lock us in to too tight a schedule...we're pretty good at being flexible. Are there any restaurants that aren't mandatory reservations that we could hold off and consider? (and its probably getting too late to get reservations at places where they are needed)
Close to the Inn where we'll be staying, Carpe Diem or Oenotri also look good for more casual. We're doing a wine tour with lunch at one of the wineries. We may do our own picnic lunch one day...is Oxbow Market or Napa General store the best for packing our own?
And general guidance would be appreciated on two other aspects: 1) should we definitely plan to visit/dine outside of Napa proper? (I'm toying with the idea of staying close to home just to avoid driving after enjoying too much wine!). and 2) any 'must see' wineries? (we're not cult wine drinkers...we enjoy good red wines, and some sauv blancs...not chardonnay fans!) The one 'must see' that is on our list now is O'Brien (because we've read good things and its our surname!) I don't know where the wine tour will take us, but I'm looking to hit at least one 'sparkling' house, then some other possibilities are Artesa and Pride Mountain. And is it Hess who has the great artwork? (husband is an art fan).
I've probably tried to cover too much in one post, but in reading all of the other discussion boards, I know this is the right place to ask for help!
Thanks in advance! (and I promise to be good and post after we return).
Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111
2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109
655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109
49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105
1245 Spring St., St. Helena, CA 94574
3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559