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Hello there:

I am planning a trip to the Bay area some time this Spring. (Exact dates are yet to be determined, when they are more concrete, I will let you all know so that I might meet some of you San Franciscans, Napans, and Sonomans.) While we are planning on eating quite well every night we are in Northern CA, my fiancee and I are looking for reccomendations for one magnificent restaurant experience while in town. We cannot afford a prix fix of over $100/person for food, but anything less is ok; although, ideally, we would be spending more like $50 or $60/person in food. Also, we would prefer a "dressy-casual" restaurant atmosphere, rather than a "coat required" atmosphere.

With the help of the 2002 Zagat and DJ Hombre, I am currently considering Gary Danko, The Ritz-Carlton Dining Room, Terra, Jardineire, Masa's, Fleur de Lys, and La Toque. Any reviews (or compairisons) people could offer of these restuarants would be greatly helpful.

Are the others worth the price discrepancy over Jardiniere and Terra?

What are the corkage policies at these places?

My fiancee keeps relatively strict Kosher so we need a restaurant that has non-meat, non-shellfish, options (ie, fish and veggiterian).

thank you for your input,
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From a Wine Country perspective, I second Terra but would also recommend Bouchon, the bistro in Yountville by Thomas Keller (French Laundry) and company. La Toque – as good as it is – will definitely challenge your budget. I've heard great things about the new Pére Jeanty, the latest restaurant by Philippe Jeanty, chef of Domaine Chandon during its heyday. (The menu is also French bistro with an emphasis on southern France.) With the French Laundry temporarily closed for remodeling, the best restaurant in Napa Valley may be Auberge du Soleil, but that might push your budget.

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