Great food ... strange "service experience".
Somewhat of a strange experience at this restaurant. The food was fantastic (butternut squash soup, ribeye, roasted chicken, creme brulee). The environment was solid ... not elbow-to-elbow coziness but no tumbleweeds rolling through either. As a restaurant-goer, I'm low maintenance - I order quick, never complain about the food, pride in being polite/respectful, enjoy the food, and tip well.
But the one thing I had issue with at Fringale was the service. Again, it may be hard to put into words but our waiter (seemingly nice chap with moustache and requisite French accent) sprinkled in some off-putting remarks and slightly uncomfortable vibe throughout the evening.
When ordering our appetizer (butternut squash soup), my GF ordered first and asked for it. OK. But then, when it was my turn, I said, "The soup sounds delicious, I'll order that too." The waiter responded, "Well, that's our ONLY soup so you can't get anything else." Huh? Where did that come from? Thinking it was the dry French "humor" I let it go ... even though it was clearly snide.
Then after completing our meal, the waiter ambled over and asked, "Are you done?" ... and my GF said, "Yes, but I'd love to see the dessert menu." Again, the waiter responded, "You may have never been to a French restaurant before but we CLEAR the table before we bring the dessert menus." Again, huh? Where did that come from? At this, I sighed and I guess he got the message ... quickly clearing the table, swiping the cloth clean, and scurrying off. The dessert and subsequent bill went smoothly (but the waiter said nothing; no "enjoy" or "thanks").
Again, the interactions were brief. But I understand humor and wit. And I understand condescension. And this waiter's attitude was clearly leaning towards the latter. He went the extra mile to make pretentious remarks ... certainly did not ruin the evening or the delicious meal but made us think twice about frequenting the restaurant again. I'm trying to convince myself that I'm being overly sensitive but it's that gut feeling, you know? When my GF and I were walking home, she volunteered, "Was it me or did the waiter seem off?" and I agreed ... so it obviously just wasn't me.
Genuine French (Basque-French) cuisine at its best.
Fringale is still my favourite in Frisco with Tripp Mauldin as head chef!
Great restaurant.. Fringale is one of the true hidden gems of San Francisco. I've been there twice, on two different dates. if you want to charm and impress company, this is a great venue. Great french fare, sweet people and service, and a good wine selection. highly recommended!
Very bad service. We went to Fringale for dinner though food is good service is too bad . Its not good treatment for guests where you want to spend some time with friends. Infact they rush you up in all aspects. I don't really recomend if some one looking to go for this resturant. Its better to train their staff to be more polite with guests.
Eat quick and get out. I made a reservation several weeks in advance to celebrate my mother's birthday at Fringale. We had hoped for an enjoyable dinning experience but all night we felt somewhat rushed by the waiter (asking us for our order directly after we sat down, etc). After we had finished our main course and were enjoying our champagne, WE WERE ASKED TO LEAVE BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE WAITING FOR THE TABLE. WE HADN'T EVEN LOOKED AT THE DESSERT MENU YET!! I have never been treated so rudely and inappropriately in a restaurant. And to call themselves a French/Basque restaurant is an utter disgrace. The food may be good, but San Francisco is filled with excellent restaurants that treat their guests properly .The owner has his priorities completely backward. Needless to say, I will never go back and I strongly recommend avoiding Fringale.
Good food.. Dined there last night and the food was great. Our server was good and had a good sense of humor, despite he forgot a few items that were ordered. The flour less chocolate cake is to die for. Over all the experience was good. The only thing that was a concern was that we had ordered a drink with kettle one and we saw the bartender use stoli instead but still got charged for a kettle one =(.
Absolutely delicious food. You will not be disappointed. The food is outstanding. The ambiance is great. The service was fantastic. Our waiter Stephen had recommendations when we asked. He was also quite charming and personable. We arrived early on a weekday and we had reservations, although at 6pm there was hardly anyone in the restaurant yet. However, by the time we left the place was quite full, so I'd recommend reservations. For appetizers our table tried the prawns and the foie gras. Prawns were good, but the foie gras was melt in your mouth delicious. For entrees we tried the mussels, the duck, and the australian sea bass. The duck was just average. The mussels were good and had a delicious spice to them. The best of what we tried was the sea bass--absolutely devine. For wine, we tried a bottle of Saint Estephe bordeaux which was very good. For dessert, we tried the truffles, chocoloate cake, and custard gateau. I'm a huge chocolate fan, but even I had to agree that the custard gateau was the most fantastic dessert of the three. All in all, a very good experience.
Great food in an intimate setting. One of the best meals I've had in a long time. The food was amazing. Everything we ate was terrific. The portions are small but the perfect size if you want to enjoy three full courses. I felt it was reasonably priced. I can understand the comments about service. There is definitely a "french aire" to the attitude but our service was wonderful and the waiter was great. We had them call us a cab (essential since no cabs go by on their own) and another table got the cab before us. The manager was so upset by this (although I do think it was the other couple's cab) that he stood in the street for 15 minutes to get us another one. The place is very small so they are under pressure to turn their tables and I think this is where some of the problems come from. We went early to enjoy the bar (which only had 5 stools) but they quickly ushered us to our table since we had reservations. Understandable since we noticed many locals were coming in to eat at the bar.
Wonderful staff, great food. I went to Fringale after a number of recommendations. My group and I were pleasantly surprised. The staff was very accomodating and our window table was ready within 5 minutes. The food was fabulous, especially the shrimp and duck confit. You can tell everything is fresh and made in house, no frozen or canned food here...Their wine selection is very nice with many different selections. Our waiter was very knowledgeable not only with the food but with the wine selection as well. All in all it was a wonderful experience. We will for sure go back.
Avoid at all costs unless you need to be degraded and embarrassed. I read all the great reviews for this place and then I decided to have dinner there with my significant other. When you enter the place you feel small, and when you leave you feel even smaller. The attitude on the staff was such a turn off that I simply turned around and left never to return. I never tasted the food because the service and pompousity was so incredibly thick, it is impossible to feel welcome and keep an appetite especially when there are so many other better places in the city.
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