Food & Drink
Restaurant Gary Danko
“James Beard Award-winning chef Gary Danko presides over my top pick for fine dining. Eschewing the white-glove formality of yesteryear's fine dining, Danko offers impeccable cuisine and perfectly orchestrated service in an unstuffy environment of wooden paneling and shutters and well-spaced tables (not to mention spa-style bathrooms). The three- to five-course fixed-price seasonal menu is freestyle, so whether you want a sampling of appetizers or a flight of meat courses, you need only ask. I am a devoted fan of his trademark buttery-smooth glazed oysters with lettuce cream, salsify, and Osetra caviar; the seared foie gras, which may be accompanied by peaches, caramelized onions, and verjus (a classic French sauce); and juniper-crusted venison with braised red cabbage, cranberries, cipollini onions, and chestnut gnocchi. Truthfully, I've never had a dish here that wasn't wonderful. And wine? The list is stellar, albeit expensive. If you pass on the glorious cheese cart or flambéed dessert of the day, a plate of petit fours reminds you that Gary Danko is one sweet and memorable meal.
Tip: If you can't get a reservation, slip in and grab a seat at the bar, where you can also order a la carte.
Hours: Daily 5:30-10pm. Bar daily 5-10pm
Location: At Hyde St, Fisherman's Wharf
Transportation: Bus: 10. Streetcar: F. Cable car: Hyde
Reservations: Reservations required except at walk-in bar
Prices: 3-course fixed-price menu $68; 4-course menu $85; 5-course menu $102