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“A Visit to an Old Friend” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ovation - CLOSED

Ovation
333 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94102-4423 (Civic Center)
415-553-8100
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Price range: $0 - $50
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Civic Center
Davis, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“A Visit to an Old Friend”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

Ovation is the restaurant on the ground floor of the Inn at the Opera, the small hotel with tiny, elegant rooms half a block away from the Opera House in the Civic Center. I had dinner here yesterday evening before attending the opera.

It's the sumptuous cave at the end of a narrow, well-lit hall that extends from the tiny hotel lobby back toward the rear of f the building. Once past the threshold, as your eyes become accustomed to the dark, you see with relief that the place hasn't changed since your last visit, or indeed, in years. The martinis from the bar that you pass as you enter are always right, and very cold. The staff are smiling and helpful, usually prompt and only very occasionally hurried or harried. If you arrive early enough, even on a first night, they'll seat you pretty much wherever you want to be. That might be in the open space facing the length of the bar if you like watching the people coming and going. or in the alcove in back if you don't, and don't mind your dinner conversation proceeding to the accompaniment of a piano and sometimes a singer. The print on the menu is large enough to be read in the low light because there aren't that many items on it. But those that are there are enough. Beet salad, with both red and gold beets. Or if you don't like beets, then the Caesar, or the mixed greens with lots of arugula. Have the soup another time. Unbelievably good short ribs with green beans and mashed potatoes. The tarte tatin and a cup of coffee, and it's time to go. It's quarter to eight, but there's plenty of time to make the curtain because the opera is just across the intersection. Step out into the evening and promise yourself to come back soon. It's been too long.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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15 reviews from our community

80% Recommend
    8
    4
    0
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
new york
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Poor value”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

We should have known better than to eat at a restaurant that was completely empty during prime dinner hours. Although it was not an opera night a good restaurant would still have had someone other than us at 8:00PM. Although the food was decent at that price point it was a very poor value. There was much evidence of cost and portion control. There are several fine restaurants in the area that are better choices.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Mendocino, CA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Overpriced”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2010

I've eaten here twice. Both times the service was slow and the portions were tiny, although the prices definitely were not!

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Missouri
1 review
“Best experience in Dinning in SF!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2010

My gal pal and I were staying at The Inn at the Opera and after a VERY long day of walking and being tourists on our one and only day in San Francisco we just wanted to relax and have a nice dinner that night. Since Ovations was right downstairs we decided to try it. What a great experience. We were greeted at the door and taken straight to a table in the back. There was live music by a pianist and a wonderful singer/drummer who catered to the older crowd with Frank Sinatra tunes (very mellow and enjoyable). I am not a fan of seafood so was pleasantly surprised when there were alternatives offered on the menu. I ordered the chicken stuffed with spinach/cheese and wrapped in proscuitto with an apple cider sauce. The presentation of the platted food was lovely, like something on the Food Network, but even better was the flavor! The chicken rested on a bed of mashed potatoes on one side and crisp green beans and carrot sliceson the other side. My friend had Salmon with rice and couldn't talk except to say how much she was enjoying it and savoring it. We paired the meal with Sauvignon Blanc and then had the creme brulee (my first time). Delicious. The sevice was excellent, we never had to wait and our needs were anticipated. Two thumbs way up. My friend is even planning to take her husband here on their next trip to SF.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Harrisonburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Impeccable service and excellent cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2010

We enjoyed the ambience, service and French cuisine at this restaurant so much that we dined here four evenings during the week we stayed at the Inn at the Opera. I love lamb chops and each of the four times they were perfectly prepared. My wife enjoys seafood and one evening had a specially prepared entree that was not only delicious, but also worthy of a picture in a gourmet magazine. The waitstaff is well-trained and provides impeccable service.

This restaurant is popular with ballet and symphony patrons and is crowded after matinees and before evening performances.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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