This place was a very cool and unexpected find. We were going to a show at the Orpheum and took BART into San Francisco to save the traffic and parking costs.\r
We got off BART at Hyde (8th Street) and Market. Between Starbuck's and the the Hotel Whitcomb is The Market Street Grill. We walked into the Barbary Coast style piano bar for some snacks and a glass of wine. We ended up going into the dining room for dinner and got a table by the fireplace, which felt good since it was a cold night. After some awesome bread and cozy hot soup to warm us up, we had the Salmon and the Shrimp Pasta. Both were excellent and we ended up tasting various white wines (and one Pinot Noir) to match up against the Asian-fusion inspired sauces of the Salmon and the unique and intriguing creamy sauce of the Rock Shrimp. The place started filling up quickly about an hour before show time, so you might want to make a reservation if you are going to a show or the Symphony or Opera down the street. After the play we ended up coming back for a couple of coffee drinks and a shared ""decadently sensual"" chocolate dessert, before getting on BART (right at the front door) to get back to Walnut Creek. We come into the city many times over the year to go to concerts at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium or to catch a parade or special event, and this is a great launching point for our explorations. This place is a bit more affordable than some of the other Hayes Valley or SoMa spots we often tried before, and the convenience of the BART option make this a better bang-for-our-buck, without the hassle or cost of parking in San Francisco. My in-laws are coming to join us for a Broadway play in August and we will put them up at the Hotel next door (Whitcomb) so we can just jet in, have a great dinner, go to the play, and get home without having to cordinate multiple locations and transportation issues for them and us. They are the kind of folks who will really enjoy the Piano bar so it's perfect for us.
Pros: food, fireplace, and piano bar
Cons: gets REAL crowded one hour before show time and a bit noisy