Chez Panisse

Old Feb 15th, 2015, 12:35 PM
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Chez Panisse

It is a dream of mine to eat here. Does it still live up to its outstanding reputation? Can we make reservations earlier than one month in advance? Thanks to all.
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Old Feb 15th, 2015, 01:35 PM
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I think that it is overrated. We ate there 30+ years ago, and then last year. My judgment remains the same, although I would be less severe now. There are many restaurants that now serve organic food with a locavore emphasis. No need to cross the bay for this. We also ate at the upstairs café a couple of times, and felt that the food met the expectation.
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Old Feb 15th, 2015, 02:55 PM
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I think DebitNM ate there last night. Hopefully, she'll respond to your post.
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Old Feb 15th, 2015, 05:07 PM
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Yes.
No.

http://www.chezpanisse.com/reservations/restaurant/
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Old Feb 15th, 2015, 05:48 PM
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Hi. We ate there last - at the cafe upstairs. I don't like the idea of eating downstairs which has a set menu each night and they aren't published far enough in advance to know if what's on the menu works for you.

You can call earlier than you can reserve online its 28 days online, I think. Also, there are limited tables via Opentable (that's who they use to handle them) so IF you can't find a table online, call. It can take a fairly long time to get through, lots of busy signals.

Ok - our view. We consider ourselves food lovers and savvy. I hesitate using "foodies" but we know good food.

Last night, yes, it was Valentines night but it just didn't work. Our first dinner there was a few years ago. It was the best visit there. Sadly, each year it has declined, just a bit, but it is definitely not what it was that first year. We were just saying last night that it would be our last time.

The food was ok to good. There was no wow. I don't mean foams or gastriques. Bread and butter. Sourdough, nothing unique. Salad, good but nothing special. Oysters, one tasted off, other we're good. Mains - wild mushroom lasagna, plain, bland and unattractively plated. Shrimp and clams in a fennel and sorrel, leeks and aioli with a few potatoes. Few clams, fewer shrimp.
We didn't have dessert, nothing interested us. 1 beer and 1 glass of wine $125.

There is also a bit of controversy about their 17% service charge, which is NOT a tip, it goes to pay medical insurance etc for all employees. There is an additional line on the charge slip for a tip.

As I said, we won't go back.
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Old Feb 15th, 2015, 05:52 PM
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I meant to say we have eaten there 4 or 5 times. And one more thing about the food. The top layer of lasagna was totally dried out, almost crispy. Totally unacceptable.
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Old Feb 15th, 2015, 11:37 PM
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There is also a bit of controversy about their 17% service charge, which is NOT a tip, it goes to pay medical insurance etc for all employees. There is an additional line on the charge slip for a tip.

Time to consider to have all costs, including proper wages, included in the posted price of the dishes/meal. The mania of adding extra costs is spreading. I know of two bakeries that add the obligatory SF health cost on top of the stated price for a loaf of bread, croissant, or whatever other baked good one purchases. Yet a similar purchase has no added cost to the listed price in supermarkets.
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Old Feb 16th, 2015, 01:28 PM
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I've always found Alice to be overhyped and over praised after stealing the thunder from her ex partner who imho was the groundbreaker.
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Old Feb 16th, 2015, 02:34 PM
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As an originator of the "California cuisine", Chez Panisse might be worth with a visit if you are the kind of person who wants to see where it all started. However I agree with Michael there are many many restaurants in San Francisco and the bay area that feature farm to table cuisine so that it is no longer unique in that respect.

Off topic, Deb you can't be in San Francisco it's not raining.
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Old Feb 16th, 2015, 04:02 PM
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Ma and Pa Ingalls served up plenty of farm to table dining as did Olivia and John Walton and the original Alice who dated the butcher.
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Old Feb 16th, 2015, 05:21 PM
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SAB- I know, right? Just like The Red Sox, the curse has been broken.
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