Eating at San Francisco’s Gary Danko is a luxurious experience. From the service to the flower arrangements to the classic California mix of local ingredients with French cooking, everything you encounter works to shape your visit.
That’s part of the reason why Gary Danko has been one of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants since it opened in 1999, and why it snagged the top San Francisco spot on Yelp’s list of
highest-rated restaurants in the US this year.
Chef Gary Danko, for whom the restaurant is named, began cooking professionally at just 12 years old in the kitchen of a local restaurant in his hometown near New York’s Canadian border. He rose through the ranks of various high-end restaurants, including the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, before striking out on his own with Gary Danko, located in Fisherman’s Wharf.
When you dine at Gary Danko, you get the choice of three fixed-price menus: 3 courses ($83), 4 courses ($101), or 5 courses ($119). But you get to select what you want from any of the sections, like “fish and seafood” or “appetizers.” Technically, if you wanted 5 desserts, you could do that.
The San Francisco Chronicle notes that Gary Danko is a “master at sauces,” and that these are key in many of the dishes.
So what should you get?
Yelp commenters continually highlight the lobster dishes, especially the Roast Maine Lobster with Potato Purée, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Edamame and Tarragon. “It was creamy and cooked to perfection,” one commenter wrote. But if you’re used to eating lobster, expect it to be a lot smaller than you’d expect. Another favourite is the Lobster Risotto, though the current menu features another Risotto (Risotto with Rock Shrimp, Dungeness Crab, Shimeji Mushrooms and Peas).
The Foie Gras dishes also draw rave reviews. One commenter described it as “perfectly seared and tasted wonderful,” and another wished she could give it more than five stars.
But one of the perks of eating at Gary Danko is that even though there are many choices on the menu, it’s unlikely you’ll get a real dud, according to Yelp commenters. And whatever time of the year you go, the menu will stay relatively stable overall, with local ingredients shifting for seasonality.
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