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The Beehive Asks: What’s your best fine-dining experience?

danko.jpgI spent last weekend in San Francisco and thanks to our friends my husband and I ended up dining at the much raved about Gary Danko restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf.

I can see why it’s so highly rated. Hands down, it was the best meal and dining experience i have ever had. The menu is unbelievable (I chose four courses: lobster salad, risotto with lobster and rock shrimp, salmon and soufflé). The service was amazing. The atmosphere is perfect. We spend more than two hours there enjoying every moment with our friends.

Of course, this experience got me thinking about restaurants around here. What is the best meal I have ever had in the Valley and what restaurants would I tell an out-of-towner are musts? My most memorable, and enjoyable, local fine-dining experience was at Parma Restaurant on Marks Avenue. The food is great and the owners are really sweet. I also had brunch at Oakhurst’s Erna’s Elderberry House. It was a lovely birthday gift from my parents that I won’t forget.

I haven’t been to either restaurant in a long time and I really want to go back. But I’m also interested in finding a few others gems to try out. So what about you? Where have you had the best overall dining experience? Do share.

Responses to "The Beehive Asks: What’s your best fine-dining experience?"

Three fond places:

• Breakfast: Chicken Pie Shop in the Tower District. Yummy biscuits!
• Lunch: Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park. Ate lunch there last week. Save room for the boysenberry pie!
• Dinner: Cosmopolitan Bar & Gril. The best Jim Beam Manhattan, ribeye and bread pudding, ever.

Bon appetit!

pr

Andrew says:

Trelio, in Clovis. That’s pretty much the only place I go. There’s never anything bad and the menu changes a lot.

Kathy Mahan says:

I keep meaning to go there but haven’t made it yet.

Debi says:

My recommendation is for a place in Sacramento I found while there for a week in June. The place is called The Broilers (not the chain) and is located on the K Street Mall and 12th St. Great food, fancy atmosphere, excellent service and LOW prices. Got a turkey brie club sandwich for dinner for only $10 and it was OUT of this WORLD!! They’ve been there for a long, long time. It’s a must visit the next time you are in downtown Sac’to.

you know youre in fresno when chicken pie shop is a fine dining experience!!!

Stephen says:

Trelio is going to close one of these days and folks like you and I are going to regret not going there more often.

I haven’t been there in over a year and it’s just fantastic, high-end dining with terrific fresh food in a tiny location.

Erna’s will always be tops, along with Ahwahnee Hotel (such a long drive, tho).

I haven’t been to Parma’s nor had I heard of Danko’s, but I go to SF next week so I’ll plan on eating there. Maybe I can take a photo out front and look half as good as you two do.*

*who am I kidding?

rob says:

Damn, ya’ll ain’t never been to hometown buffet? they have EVERYTHING!

If you want a fine dining experience in fresno from a non-chain restaurant The Ripe Tomato probably has the best atmosphere for a romantic evening.

Sunday brunch at the Ahwahnee might give the chicken pie shop a run for its money but i’m not sure.

Outside of Fresno there are too many choices in too many places; chez panisse, the french laundry, mozza, michaels on main, patina, and that’s just in california.

Personally my favorite place in the world is the parador de granada; try the gazpacho andluz outside on the patio if you ever get the chance

Andrew says:

If you see a guy with long hair sitting by himself at the bar on a Friday or Saturday night, that would be me. (:

Felix says:

My local gem for wonderful meals in a relaxed yet upscale style is Cracked Pepper Bistro.

Zara says:

I still salivate over the food I’ve eaten at Cracked Pepper Bistro.

And I’ve always had wonderful dining experiences at Cafe Rousseau. Partly because of the great food and great service… and partly because I always go with fantastic friends!

Ray Hedrick says:

Two dining experiences come to mind: Ernie’s in San Francisco is gone now but the memory of a six-course dinner with a different bottle of wine with each course will always be there. Impeccable service and interesting atmosphere. The Gotti Brothers were saints. The second: The Perlan Restaurant in Reykjavik Iceland. Its revolving restaurant makes an orbit every 45 minutes or so. Situated on top of the scenic six-story thermal water storage tanks, it’s a world class restaurant all the way. I was alone but had a bottle of Opus One along with a light fare of very interestingly-served arctic char… Iceland’s equivalent to salmon. Char is a bit oilier and probably healthier for you. Recommendation: Take Icelandair across the pond, get a free-stopover in Reykjavik for a 2-3 days (they’re on Greenwich Mean Time, so one can decompress, both ways if needed). Icelandair currently flies out of Seattle and it’s about a six hour flight to Iceland on one of its 757s. From Reykjavik, it’s a short non-stop to any of perhaps 75 destinations in Europe. Have a Brenevin (Iceland’s national drink) after dinner. Don’t be dissuaded once you find it’s called “Black Death.” It’s neither.

Garrett says:

Providence-Los Angeles, CA the 5-course tasting menu
Gary Danko-San Francisco, CA, 4-course tasting menu
Moritmoto- Napa, CA, sushi omakase
Lucques-Los Angeles, CA, a la carte

Kristi says:

I will 2nd both the Cracked Pepper & Trelio endorsements. Dinner at either establishment is more than a meal, it is an experience (and love their use of local produce!).

Kristy says:

Erna’s Elderberry House is phenomenal in everyway. The Ripe Tomato is also lovely.