400 Jefferson Street
San Francisco, CA
Big groups require big spaces to eat. Case in point, our party of eight needed ample space to stretch out as well as to be grouped together for a final farewell dinner in San Fran. With many of us wanting to do some walking around just to see more than the downtown core where we’d spent most of our week, we ended up trekking along the water front and ended up at Cioppino’s for our evening meal. This place fit the bill as we could see other large parties inside and even got a space up on the top level tired ares that seemed more suited to diners in tables of five or more. It had a kind of mess hall feel to it, but we were not that close to the other rambunctious gatherings taking place but not too isolated so that we felt neglected, it was a perfect balance.
Apparently, this establishment has a decent history serving up hearty Italian and seafood cuisine. I’m sure it falls into the realm of the tourist lot, given its location. But turns out, it didn’t feel that kitschy at all and could have been even better if on a smaller scale with more focused service and attention. There are times when ambiance and scale really do make a difference in the whole dining experience – and this was one of them. Perhaps they were smaller when they started, but now are a full fledged, large scale operation. A decent choice of draft beers (including the local Anchor Steam, and Big Daddy IPA) and red wines (Sonoma, Napa Valley) gave us a good way to get our appetites going further.