Gary Danko Restaurant - San Francisco

Continuing its winning streak, Gary Danko again secures a place in the Zagat Guide charts as the most popular restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is indeed quite a feat for a restaurant on the high end of the cost spectrum. This quaint restaurant located on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco downtown serves Californian and French Cuisine, and attracts not only locals, but foodies from around the world! Plantation shutters, dark wood and warm earth tones create a soothing setting for his seasonal fare. Impeccably dressed waiting staff adds an air of elegance, along with an excellent wine list and cheese service. The fixed-price menu definitely ranges on the higher end, yet the award-winning food draws huge crowds every single day.

James Beard Award-winning chef Gary Danko presides is the heart and soul of this restaurant. Reflecting the white-glove formality of fine dining, Danko offers impeccable cuisine and perfectly orchestrated service in an untraditionally spacious environment. The two adjoining rooms are elegant without being stiff, and the banquette seating provides both luxury and comfort. Taupe-toned walls are the perfect backdrops for museum-quality modern paintings from artists Hunt Slonem, Erin Parish, and Angelina Nasso. The wooden panels and shutters combined with well-spaced tables create an intimate yet open environment. Even their bathrooms are spa-style!!:)

The food at Gary Danko centers on lively, seasonal dishes prepared with classical french techniques. The 3-5 course seasonal menu is freestyle, and offers several seasonal ingredients paired with meats and veggies. You definitely have to try their trademark buttery-smooth glazed oysters with lettuce cream, salsify, and Osetra caviar; seared foie gras, which may be accompanied by peaches, caramelized onions, and verjus (a classic French sauce); horseradish-crusted salmon medallions with dilled cucumbers; and adventurous Moroccan spiced squab with chermoula (a Moroccan sauce made with cilantro) and orange-cumin carrots are other attention grabbers. For strict vegetarians, salads might be your only option, but the chef was kind enough to accomodate our special requests. The items on the menu range from $50-80, so be prepared to lighten your pockets!

The wine list is stellar, but expensive, and holds over 1,500 wines including an exceptional selection of grand vintages. They also boast an extensive cheese collection, and diners can take a glimpse of the spread through a handsome cheese case. For desserts, a plate of petit fours, Baked Chocolate Souffle or the Pineapple Consomme will be perfect to end a memorable meal!

On the whole, Gary Danko offers a pleasing dining experience, albeit expensive, and hence reserved for special occasions. Reservations are strongly recommended, unless you are prepared for at least half-hour wait! The quality of food and service is unparalleled, and you have to hand it to the chef for maintaining the standard as Gary Danko moves to its 8th successful year. They are also opening a new branch in the Napa Valley, so look out for more great food in the romantic city!!

Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco

800 North Point St. (at Hyde)
San Francisco
(415) 749-2060
Gary Danko Restaurant

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Anonymous said...

This is by far one of the best restaurants in SFO. the food is just amazing, and though expensive, I'd recommend it to anyone who wants great meal on a special occasion!

Jennifer K

Anonymous said...

came here looking for SF restaurants and saw this I had to write this!

consistently excellent food, great service and a wonderful collection of wine all make GD one of our favorite restaurants!


amna said...

i went here during my trip to SF last year! brings back so many memories :)

Sig said...

Gary Danko is great, we went here during our SF trip. BTW individual items on the menu are not $50, three course menu starts with $65, so I am sure the a la carte options are much less.
So, what did you eat? I am always curious to know what the chefs whip up for special requests...that is creative freedom for them..

Mansi said...

Jennifer, Jason - thanks so much for sharing your opinions!

Nags - please let me know when you are in SF next time so we can meet!!:)

Sig - I agree this place rocks! we had the romaine salad, savory tart of seasonal veggies, and herb-crusted potatoes with sage instead of lamb....then we stuffed ourselves with loads of dessert, and my husband and brother had some wine:)

Rosie said...

Another great sounding place to dine Mansi. I really enjoyed reading this :D

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

We ate there summer before last... only three nights after having the tasting menu at the French Laundry. And as amazing as FL is... we enjoyed our evening at Gary Danko's more. Loved the food, loved the service... loved everything about it.