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Can you help me get out of a rut? (dinner suggestions for Friday night, specific parameters)

susancinsf | May 16, 200404:36 PM

All too often, I think I tend to fall into an absolutely inexcusable rut in my dining choices here in the City. Or perhaps I am just too particular, I don't know. All I know is that sister Janet (Janet in Reno) is coming into to town for one night Friday, and I haven't yet settled on the best place to take her for a low-key but delicious evening in San Francisco.

Bacco is of course always an option, but I have taken her there at least once, maybe twice, and anyways eating there is probably the biggest part of my rut issue.

So some parameters for dinner for three Friday night: casual only, so hubby can be persuaded to come along (he HATES to dress for dinner), low to mid-range (ie less than $50 per person with tax, tip and alcohol). I want reservations; on Friday night I dislike the stress of having to walk-in and/or wait. Ambiance is not that important, but comfort is: ie I really dislike being crammed into small little places. All three of us are too old and too creaky to be forced into a tiny table.

Type of food: open to most anything but would lean against Mexican and Chinese, since she can find decent choices for those in Reno; would also tend to lean against Indian for similar reasons. (her husband and sister in law are two great cooks for Indian). Probably not Thai either, since I read on the boards she has recently dined more than once at Lotus of Siam in Vegas and I don't think we can top that. Hubby is not crazy about sushi, but might be persuaded in order to be a good host. We love italian, but if we were going to go that route we'd probably end up back at Bacco....Those are my preferences but basically we would probably try almost anything once. Am I being too narrow-minded in my approach?

Any good Spanish suggestions? Or French? I was considering Chez Papa but someplace similar with slightly lower wine prices and a little less noise might be more appealing. How is Cote Sud?: I did a search on the Board but didn't see anything.

Help me Chowhounds: I really need to get out of this rut and find the best casual dining that the City has to offer. Will consider anywhere within SF proper, with bonus points for easy parking and/or places walking distance from Cortland and Mission! Thanks in advance!

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