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Ratings and reviews

MICHELIN 2019
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value

Details

PRICE RANGE
$125 - $125
CUISINES
American
Special Diets
Vegan Options, Vegetarian Friendly
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meals, features, about

Location and contact

Intermission
0.3 miles from San Francisco City Hall
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MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

The MICHELIN Plate: Good cooking
Comfortable restaurant
Reviews (47)
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LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
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2
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All reviews quail egg tasting menu amuse bouche bread beef optional wine pairing food and wine the wait staff courses dishes presentation sf carrots
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Reviewed December 15, 2019 via mobile

Visiting from Canada with my husband, my husband's brother and fiancée. It was our first time traveling with our 9-week old daughter and we wanted a fine dining experience to kick off our weekend. We called ahead to ensure a baby would be welcomed and...were assured that Nightbird would happily accomodate. The wait staff were cheerful and knowledgeable, the food was excellent and the ambiance was cozy. Dinner was a 5-course tasting menu ($150) with optional wine pairing ($80) and included five larger courses and five "reflections" (smaller bites between courses which each drew their inspiration from the previous course). The concept was well executed and it was a lot of fun trying to guess what each reflection would be. Dinner lasted 2.5 hours. If you're in downtown San Francisco and looking for a wonderful evening out, Nightbird is a wonderful option!More

Date of visit: December 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed October 16, 2019 via mobile

The tasting menu flows nicely with some dishes a duo of small dishes with the same theme (amuse bouche, quail’s egg, tomato X2 followed by very inventive onion X2 then fish, poultry, meat, dessert). The dessert was the best of all followed by the quail’s...egg and the beef itself (was served w carrots, which I don’t like, but the meat itself was cooked to perfection). There were 2 excellent consommés along the way . Highly recommended.More

Date of visit: October 2019
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Reviewed September 14, 2019

We visited Nightbird from Melbourne, Australia, having been recommended this restaurant by experienced food-and-wine-loving friends. They were right! This was an exquisite restaurant, that conjured a truly gourmet experience. The owners are a delightful husband and wife team who are obviously passionate about creating their...own special food-and-wine experience – discrete Rob who pulls the strings and chooses the wine at front-of-house, and vivacious Kim who conjures magic from the kitchen. The restaurant is small (tables are spaciously placed) and intimate. The dedicated team are able to keep a watchful eye - and a gentle hand - on every perfect detail. They delivered us quiet, seamless service, tailored to our wishes and whims. Without being at all obvious, we noticed that Nightbird paid homage to nature – in the food they grow, or source; in the timbers that grace the room; in the delightful pottery dishes on which many of the degustation courses are served. And then there were the wines, all beautifully matching the five food courses. The wines came from all continents of the world, and offered a good balance of old-world and new-world. Most of them seemed to have one thing in common – minimal intervention by the wine-maker, so that the natural terroir and fruit shone through. We left, knowing we’d experienced something special and precious - an intimate and exquisite gourmet experience that deserves encouragement, and warrants success.More

Date of visit: September 2019
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Reviewed September 7, 2019

We recently celebrated our 50th anniversary here. The staff greeted us at the door and had a lovely card at our table. They brought us a pour of bubbly to celebrate - what a delightful beginning to a truly wonderful dining experience. The prix fixe...menu provided us with 10 delicious items - some small bites (such as an exquisite quail egg to start) and larger portions (including amazing poached shrimp and fresh tomatoes, and a fabulous beef dish). All the presentations are artful. The menu isn't provided until the end of the meal so it's fun to have a surprise as each dish is served. Breads, served with house churned butter, accompany two of the dishes. We greatly appreciated the pacing of the meal allowing us to attend a Symphony concert (we had 2 hours for our dinner and it was the perfect amount of time). This is a relative bargain compared to other restaurants in SF that provide the same high quality ingredients, creative cuisine and gorgeous presentations. I heartily recommend Nightbird if you are celebrating a special occasion, or want to experience outstanding cuisine and have the time to savor the courses.More

Date of visit: September 2019
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Reviewed April 13, 2019 via mobile

We had an amazing dinner at Nightbird - it has a lovely set menu (or veggie menu) with adjustments for dietary restrictions. The portions are great and the service is excellent! I really appreciated the ambience and the ability to hear everyone without having to...speak loudly. The bathrooms are really nice. I like that they had a nice selection of mock tails along with the drinks menu.More

Date of visit: April 2019
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Reviewed March 13, 2019

Nightbird is my favorite restaurant. This is well known. Last night was exceptional even by their consistently superb standards. My wife, our daughter, and I were going to have the three course pre-theater menu before a performance at the SF Ballet but were so late...due to traffic at the Golden Gate Bridge that we rescheduled the ballet & decided to enjoy the entire tasting menu dinner. My wife & I paired the wines & our daughter (the designated driver) had a cocktail & a glass of wine. We were there for three glorious hours & left satiated & so happy. Some of the many highlights were the Quail egg with Hollandaise on a bed of fried leeks, the butter poached lobster, the squab, an off menu course of truffle risotto, & the chocolate, almond, & passionfruit dessert. The service was terrific (as alway) & everybody was so accommodating & professional. It's not inexpensive but quality at the highest level like this never is.More

Date of visit: March 2019
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Reviewed February 9, 2019 via mobile

Loved the caviar. The bread was incredible as always. Since this was a business dinner, I did not take pictures. The halibut had wonderful flavors swimming in the broth. It is a pleasure to talk to Chef Kim when she brings a course to the...table. You don’t see that much. So personal. And the mushrooms were a nice touch to the rainy night. I opted for a bottle of wine, rather than the pairing and the recommendation was spot on for the entire meal.More

Date of visit: February 2019
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Reviewed February 8, 2019

Had the opportunity to try this restaurant for the first time. Multiple courses over the evening. The presentation, sizing, and quality of the food was excellent. Very creative in the nightly selection based on what is fresh from the market. Service was excellent and the...attention to details including the custom servicing plates, glassware and even the custom made knives makes the whole experience make you feel like the attention is on the customer having a unique and lasting experience. The food is a continuous flow Culinary Masterpieces.....highly recommend this restaurant.More

Date of visit: February 2019
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Reviewed February 6, 2019

The tasting menu has five courses but in between there are additional bites to the total dishes are more like ten. All courses are nicely presented and quite tasty and innovative. A bit pricey but in downtown SF, not a big surprise. The service is...excellent and the final bill includes a 16% service charge, very reasonable. The decor is simple but pleasant and overall is a place worth revisiting.More

Date of visit: January 2019
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Reviewed January 21, 2019

Nightbird Nightbird is a very good and very expensive restaurant and on New Year’s Eve it becomes very, very expensive. The $175 tasting menu is upped to $200 and the $75 wine pairings are upped to $90. So including wine, tax, the obligatory gratuity, the...“Healthy SF” surcharge (the city requires employers to provide healthcare for workers and many restaurants, alone among businesses in the city, pass the costs along directly to customers) the meal for two (with only one wine pairing) was $665. There was no special menu for New Year’s Eve. The menu offered the same 5 courses and included many of the regular items already listed on their website. So it seems they increased the prices because it was a holiday and they could. Happy New Year from Nightbird! The room is tastefully decorated in a minimalist, almost Spartan sort of way. The acoustics, however, are very poor. We mentioned the problem to the staff when we left, but he said no one had ever complained to them and they had never noticed it. Even though it is a small restaurant and the diners were sedate, my wife and I found it very difficult to talk with one another. The servers are pleasant, if not personable, and efficient, if not flawless. For example, I wanted to order the wine pairing, but our server did not return until he brought the first course and after I had missed the first wine. I ordered it nonetheless and while he did not apologize for the flub, he did adjust the price to reflect the smaller number of wines. After we finished the meal, it turned out that one of the people that brought a course to our table was actually the restaurant’s chef which was a nice gesture. However, she did not have a nametag, introduce herself, nor did anyone else (like our server or the manager) identify her. The food was quite good. Each item was like a work of art—a miniature work of art. We did not find the plates had “small servings;” they are really quite tiny. Several of the courses such as a pale seafood or pasta had no colorful herbs or spices to accent the dish, and were served on a white plate. We did believe that much of the visual appeal, however, comes literally from the dishes—the beautiful and ever changing tableware on which the food is presented. The bread was exceptionally good. However, I flummoxed our server when I asked for more bread. He seemed uncertain if such a thing might be possible and he said he would have to confer with the kitchen. As it turned out, I had asked for more of the first bread and there was a second bread on the way. I had apparently upset the careful sequencing of the meal. Happily, I was served more of bread #1 after receiving bread #2. This was important because if you are going have enough to eat you’re going to need that bread. There is no need to worry about overeating at Nightbird. When we departed, they gave us several desserts for when we got home that night or to eat tomorrow morning. They were lovely and delicious and it was a charming idea. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but if I am paying more for a meal than the per capita income of Burundi I expect something close to perfection. Nightbird is very good but obviously not perfect. Despite some disappointments, we had a pleasant evening and were happy that we had tried the restaurant. And although it is about one block from our home, we probably won’t make the 3 minute walk to Nightbird again.More

Date of visit: December 2018
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Questions & Answers
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richard k
February 27, 2020|
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Response from LLLLLNNNNN | Reviewed this property |
When I was there it was a mix - 1 table fancy, 1 very casual, and a couple smart casual. I don't think there is a dress code...
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Katie B
January 1, 2017|
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Response from Garry L | Reviewed this property |
No it is very casual, no worries.
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