Our cohorts in New York do a daily feature called Two for Eight, because New York being New York, it's often a challenge getting last-minute reservations anywhere. San Franciscans have it relatively easy, except at certain buzzy spots and on dining-out holidays like Valentine's Day. So, assuming every pre-9 p.m. table is booked at our go-to romantic spots, here are a few ideas for places that can take you at a reasonable time, despite your procrastination.
Bluestem Brasserie - It may be a little loud, but you can get yourself a decent charcuterie platter and some fanciful desserts, and they've got a table for two at 6:45.
Dopo - One of the best Italian restaurants around, on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, just sent out a blast announcing tables available at their 5, 7, and 9 p.m. seatings. It's a $45 prix fixe featuring and oyster-and-mussel antipasti, and spaghetti alla pizzutto a dish from chef-owner Jon Smulewitz's grandmother from Naples with "gravy," olives, and parmesan followed by a platter meatballs and sausage. Call 510-652-3676 to reserve.
Fang - Good Chinese, an easy walk to the movies, and they've got tables at 7:15 and 7:30.
Hecho - A particularly good choice if you and your loved one have to work late downtown, but they've got tables at 7:00, 7:30, and later. Also, they just hired a beloved master sushi chef who's been off the scene for a while.
Hops & Hominy - They're new! They're unproven. Thus, plenty o' tables.
Mozzeria - The new, deaf-owned pizzeria in the Mission has tables at 8:00 and 8:15.