Great meal. Oh snap. Gary Danko really lives up to their stellar rep. The vibe isn't overly snooty, considered it's one of the city's premier restaurants. We did the 3 course fixed price menu. We started with a beet salad with goat cheese and the lobster risotto. The risotto was great (though could have been a little warmer). The main course featured Maine lobster and raviolis. The lobster was pretty tender and the ravilois were nice and crisp, but not greasy (they were deep fried). We were sooo full by the time our final course came, so we took the cheeses, croissant bread pudding, and chocolates to go. All in all the waiter was really accommodating and even presented my vegetarian friend with a special menu. I wish the food was warmer.. really the only complaint.
Gary had on 'off' night?.
Living in SF, we have dined at all of the city's top restaurants on special occasions and were saving Gary Danko's for such an occasion. So, after many years of much anticipation, I finally broke down and took my wife there on Dec 1 for her birthday - one of those that end in 0.
I can say the ambience was superb, as was the service, though a bit officious and stuffy. The food, however, and wine we were served was abysmal. We had a St. Emilion that I should have had the good sense to send back, but I saw the Sommelier sniff and sip before bringing it to the table, so who was I to question this 'expert'. The only thing that adequately describes it is 'hard'. It was 'hard' on all parts of the mouth.
'Hard' seems to have been the theme that night. The foie gras was 'hard'. Its firm texture and light gray color was more like a piece of fried pate' or pork loin. No idea how they did that, since fixing foie gras is like frying butter - it melts.
The pork-belly creation was 'hard'. I could have used a cleaver and butcher block to chop through the petrified skin. The meat was stringy and the fat tough. How they managed to overcook the skin and undercook the meat is a mystery.
The rest of the meal was quite forgettable, not the dining experience we had long anticipated. My advice, for locals and visitors alike, give Spruce a try. You will not be disappointed
I would have sent Gary a 'heads-up' email, had his website provided for such feedback.
One of the best of SF. Half a dozen visits and we're convinced, Gary Danko is a first class operation. Solid food, solid service, professional operation, what more could you want? This one is a SF must.
Highly Recommended. The food here is excellent. I recommend the ahi tuna starter. The wild mushroom bisque they offered before the meal and the pastry tray they offered after the meal were excellent too. I ate at One Market on the same trip and while the food there was very good, Gary Danko was much better. I think it deserves more than one Michelin star.
A wonderful fine dining experience!. Beginning to end this was the best meal that I've had in San Francisco. Too many great items to cover all of them but I can say that the Foie Gras and Cheese Carts were the standouts. I recommend a conservative wine choice as price is not always reflective of quality. Next time you're looking for a superior fine dining experience in the Wharf area, I highly recommend givng Gary Danko's a call!
an outstanding experience. Absolutely outstanding! The food, the wine but especially the people that are so intent on you having a wonderful evening. Excellent in every way.
The Nordstrom of Restaurants. Hands down one of the best dining experiences in SF. Prior reviewers proclaim there's "snooty" staff. We've been here 2x and have experienced nothing but the best of service. You have at least 5 staff members servicing you, including the maitre d' and wine stewart. I don't know of many places where the maitre d' comes by to chat with the guests at each table. The food is very, very good. Some more memorable than others like the asparagus soup, seared ahi tuna, choc souffle, foie gras and cheese. The cheese cart is amazing if you're a cheese connoisseur. There's almost 20 varieties to select from including Bay Area, US and international choices. You can pick 3-4 types presented with thin bagette slices and grapes. The menu consists of 3, 4 and 5 courses and you can interchange between the appetizer, entree or dessert. If you don't like dessert, you can have 2 appetizers + entree or 1 appetizer or 2 entrees instead. Or, 3 entrees! At $65 for a 3 course meal, you are quite full. They automatically add on the valet parking fee to your bill if you parked with them for $11 (the local garage charges $2.20 for 20 mins). And, they offer you the unfinished bottle of wine to take home and will leave doggie boxes at the door and hand it to you on your way out w/o you even needing to ask. The bathrooms are gorgeous. Food is a very important part of the dining experience but you can have great food and have it all spoiled by poor service and staff. At Gary Danko's the experience is whole and well worth a visit. They understand that food and service are intergral to a satisfying dining experience. The wine list is an extensive book, very few bottles under $100.
yummy. i ate at gary danko's with a group of 6.. we were seated in a private dining area to celebrate a special occasion. i had never been served "courses".. normally i do the whole appetizer, entree, & dessert thing... but this restaurant you must order by courses. The staff was EXTREMELY professional and knowledgeable on everything from the wine, to the food, to the chef [gary danko].. The food was great. Everything i had was absolutely delicious and had no complaints on the flavor. The only problem was that every course was too tiny for me =( Its almost like they tease you because its so delicious yet so small! My overall experience was definately something new, the service was perfect, food was delish, courses were tiny, and it is the most expensive resaurant i'll probably ever go to. A check for 6 came out to over $1,000 but we each got 4 or 5 course meals and bottles of wine as well.. I would reccomend this place if you really are trying to impress someone.
Nice. But not THAT nice. The staff is a little on the "snooty" side, but it was overall a good experience. However, my husband and I did get sick the next day.. and we figured it was the oysters. We wrote to them and warned them, and they wrote back and apologized, but that was it. It was kind of hard to have paid $400 for dinner and then end up deathly ill for 2 days afterwards... :-(
Foie Gras Lover's Heaven.
Visited Gary Danko for a special evening - a 50th friendship anniversary - and loved every second of it. The service was impeccable, the food amazing, the wine list superb (if pricey), and the room lovely and inviting.
The 4-course menu and the ability to select more than one item from any of the courses made it a tasting menu beyond anything we have experienced. Well worth the cost and perhaps the most memorable meal of our trip.
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