Over the weekend, I received questions from people on opposite ends of the dating spectrum. The first request:
Where should I take an ex for dinner when he's in town for business? He'll be staying downtown. I want someplace near his hotel where we can catch up, but not too quiet and not too expensive. Also: He doesn't drink.
Answer: My first thought was Barbacco or RN74, but both of those are better if you're hoping to duck behind a thick wine list when the accusations fly. So I'd recommend you pick one of Doug Washington and the Rosenthal brothers' more casual places: Salt House (545 Mission, at First St., 543-8900) and Anchor and Hope (83 Minna, at Second St., 501-9100). They're good-looking restaurants with flattering lighting, the bustle is considerable enough to create a sonic bubble around your conversation, and the food is easy to enjoy whether he's a fish-and-chips guy or an expense-account daredevil. Plus, if you need to do a little post-date processing on your own, 83 Proof and House of Shields are right around the corner.