Refined, traditional, and sophisticated. A welcome holdover from a more elegant era. There should be a category that embodies these; but I guess there are too few restaurants of this sort left to warrant such a category.
5/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Traditional; no surprises;
Traditional; no surprises; excellent service; wines expensive but 1/2 price if you ask on Sunday.
5/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Classic San Francisco!
The clubby, intimate dining room is classic old style San Francisco dining at its best! The menu and food is straight-forward with generous portions and great presentation. Ron, our waiter, could not have been more hospitable and knowledgable about the history of San Francisco in general and about the "Big 4" in particular. He brought the room alive by regaling us with facts, interpretation and explanation. Although we are 'locals', we learned so much from him throughout the meal and it made the experience just that much more memorable. We hope and trust that the new ownership of the hotel will preserve this terrific dining room for future guest experiences like ours. Truly memorable and enjoyable!
5/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
The food and service were
The food and service were wonderful. The wine list is undergoing major changes - and not for the best. There were only 3 chardonnays available. The options for pinot noirs was similarly lacking. The new owners have added a lot of Rieslings and Gewurztraminers which do not go with the menu items.
5/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Long Lost History
A traditional SF style restaurant celebrating a time in history never again to be repeated. A definite must for people interested in SF and California History, combined with excellent food and service!!
6/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love the ambiance, the location, the staff, the food and that they carry our wine-Rosati Cabernet! Cheers
6/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food was great, the service even better. I didn't care for the valerian chocolate cake. Very elegant and you must go into the banquet room to see the panorama of early San Francisco.
6/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
A Dining Experience
This is our favorite restaurant in the city! The classic decor takes you back in time. Service and food are impeccable. It is truly a treat to dine here.
6/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food was amazing, atmosphere was romantic and what can I say about our server Ron H, he was incredibly knowledgeable. I would definitely come here again. Bill for 3 was $236.56 starter, main course and dessert, no one had wine. What a great place to bring a date.
6/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
A classic dining experience for the old souls of San Francisco. A gem not to be missed.
7/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Amazing staff in a beautiful setting exemplifies 40s san fran dining experience!
7/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
The quiet jem
With the bustle of the city and the sometimes manical ambiance if all the new hipster gastro-pubs and foodie dens, it's great to head to the Big 4 for a cocktail at their bar or an exquisite dinner in the adjacent restaurant. The old, smoking lounge appearance, with heavily-wooded ornate detail, creates an ambiance in which the eye can wonder and conversation need not rise above whispers. The pianist in the open-seating bar sets the tone for the evening, upon arrival. The bar food and drinks are delectable and the food in the restaurant have some very unique flavor combinations, expertly prepared with great presentation. The staff is professional and warm, adding to the charm. What a jem.
7/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
old school gem
Pampered from valet to Maitre D' to Waiter. Superb cuisine. Pure San Francisco classic vibe. Nuanced flavors and perfect execution of tantalizing specials. If you're staying at the hotel, it's a no-brainer. If you're at the Fairmont, walk half a block and you're there. The real deal.
7/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Old-time San Francisco (a positive)
Beautifully appointed with wood and green leather booths. Big 4 pays homage to the sentiment of Old SF, and is very well kept and looks right in place for its location (top of California Street with the Fairmont and the Mark across the street). Dinner was fantastic, and of course, pricey. Seafood risotto with saffron--Excellent! Lamb--fantastic. Decided to take a walk over to the Mark to see what the Top of the Mark looks like these days. Wow, remodeled to accommodate more people/ tourists and instead of the intimate atmosphere of days gone by, looks like and sounds like a cafeteria now. See ya. Tried theTonga room, no rez-no sit down. Back to Big 4. Scored great seats in the Piano Bar, ordered dessert and we were in heaven.
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Dean and his gang were on top as usual. My SF favorite restaurant and I'm addicted to the Chicken Pot Pie.
7/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
We enjoyed a great meal and
We enjoyed a great meal and had great service to say the least. We look forward to go back soon.
7/25/2013 5:00:00 PM
Classy People and Place
My husband and were excited to try Big 4 after reading reviews. We were staying at another Nob Hill hotel and they were the ones who originally recommended it to us. We arrived too late for our 10pm reservation . However, the staff there could not have been classier in their effort to keep us happy. The maitre d' offered to get us a reservation somewhere else or to accommodate us in their bar area where a limited late night menu was available. We agreed to stay. The staff was gracious and accommodating and the food was very tasty. They had a pianist playing jazz and American standards and the bartender was friendly and kept a lively bar scene going. We enjoyed the food and the ambiance and were glad that we stayed!
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
A hidden gem
This restaurant is as if you stepped into the home of Sherlock Holmes. It's dark inside. If you don't mind this eating in an English library, then this atmosphere is for you. It's an older local repeat crowd or referrals for the large hotels in the neighborhood. It's all about the old steamship lines that were built in SF history days. The food is pricey but good. We selected it because it is in walking distance to Masonic Temple where we had show tickets.
8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
First time here but not our last!!!
We always stay at the Marine's Memorial Hotel just down the street and had never been to this restaurant.
I chose it because I love the California history.
The food, ambience and friendliness of the wait staff was wonderful!
I had the rack of lamb and my husband had the seafood risotto. Both delicious!!! Next time I am ordering
the sole... it looked unbelievable!!!!
8/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
We love this place...
I took my husband here for his birthday. We have been to this restaurant many times and never get tired of it. It is elegant and the food is fantastic, especially during Wild Game Week. This is a very romantic restaurant.
8/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Outstanding service and food. Boar and scallops were wonderful. We have been here many times over the years and it is always excellent.
8/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Wonderful SF Gem
This is old San Francisco at it's very best. I love this place. The food is very good. If you are looking for high gourmet, this is not your place. The food is traditional and very enjoyable. The atmosphere is absolutely wonderful. The staff is warm and attentive but not overly so. This is always my pick for a special evening for intimate conversation and a relaxed and enjoyable first class experience.
8/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Had the Seafood Risotto and
Had the Seafood Risotto and my wife had the Rack of Lamb, both excellent choices as the meal was outstanding. Both first courses and deserts were equally as well. Service was great, as I believe our waiter's name was Phil. Checked in often on us and the remaining staff was readily available to fill water glasses and remove empty plates. Great spot if your going to close by concerts or to the theatre.
9/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Nob Hill Gem
We eat out a lot in the city and one of our favorites is the Big 4. We love the atmosphere, the understated elegance, the staff and of course the food. The bar menu is fabulous and the main dining room is always a wonderful place for a special occasion or just a romantic night on the town. They are also one of the few places with a live pianist... which is sadly a dying trend here in the city. Very few places have live music, but you can still hear a real piano at The Big 4.
9/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Civilized fine dining!
We were warmly greeted and ushered to a beautiful table, surrounded by rich leather and wood. The food was superb as was the service. My wife chose the scallops and I had the rack of lamb, both of which were as good as it gets. The prawn appetizer and onion soup were also outstanding. There is a beautiful full bar and nice choice of wines by the glass.
There is also a bar menu offering more casual dining.
This is civilized fine dining at its best!
9/12/2013 5:00:00 PM
It was a delightful experience
It was a delightful experience dining at Big 4. The beautiful dining room has a wonderful old San Francisco feeling, but the menu is modern and offers excellent choices. The food was delicious-no disappointsments. How nice ( and unusual) to be able to hear the people across the table without shouting!! The addition of a piano player was the frosting on a great evening.
9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent service, quiet ambiance, healthy and indulgent food options; a lovely for a long lingering meal. It was perfect for us.
9/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best time with my wife to be
It was a lovely evening in a first class
San francisco landmark.
We were not disappointed in any way...
the scallops were perfect, the wild boar quite nice
and plentiful... the lobster bisque and organic
everything was wonderful...
9/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Classy and delicious
Impressive food and classy atmosphere like a traditional club. Warm and decadent environment.
9/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Loved it and eh
My husband and I had completely different takes on our dinners. Husband loved the wild boar, the best meal he ever had. My seafood risotto was mediocre, chewy seafood and underdone rice.
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
We had a large group and they were very accommodating! The service was just as good as when it is just the two of us. It was a wonderful new experience for our guests and I know they will return again.
10/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
I've been going to this restaurant
I've been going to this restaurant for the past 8-10 years and I have not been disappointed yet! Great affordable wines. Great food! Don't forget to ask for dishes that are not even mentioned on the menu. (Not specials,but regulars like Venison Chilli).Great service! I love the cozy bar and the live piano music. Romantic.
10/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
My husband and I had received a gift certificate to use at the spa or restaurant. Since it was his 55th birthday - we went for an early dinner so we could walk around the area a bit. It was wonderful! Parking was a breeze with the lot so close and there was a photography show in the part across the street. The restaurant, bar and hotel staff were very welcoming and friendly. We started with drinks in the bar by the fireplace and then moved to dinner. The food was amazing - rich and plentiful! We arrived early for a 5:30pm dinner on a Saturday- which was really great- the crowds started arriving about an hour later......I loved the setting and enjoyed the history related to the hotel!
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great old school atmosphere.
Great old school atmosphere. Creative presentation, wonderful food.
10/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
We chose Big 4 mainly because it was within walking distance of The Masonic. But, with that said we were very pleased with service and the food. For such a formal feeling restaurant there was still a very friendly feeling. Even thought my husband was one of only a few men that didn't wear a sports jacket or suit he was not made to feel uncomfortable. We will definitely return!
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
outstanding and classy restaurant with rich San Francisco history, excellent food and presentation, comfortable and pleasant atmosphere, beautiful piano music in the background; a great place to entertain out-of-town guests; valet parking; cordial and polite service
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
perfect special occasion
romantic restaurant with piano music in the background and clubby ambiance; the wait staff was unobtrusive but available, personable, trained ....the food was magical. Absolutely delicious fresh seafood and side dishes;plating was beautiful as well as colorful and yummy. I will surely come back and take a special somebody.
10/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
It was a dinner before a concert at the Masonic and was everyting we expected. Dark-ish, club atmosphere that was very quiet until the dining room filled before the concert. Limited specials menu but outstang creations of soups, salads and wild game. Service was perfect, waiter just chatty enough and bus boys (men) were always there to fill water glass or clear table. Service between courses was slow and relaxed -- allow 2hrs (at least) for dinner. Pricy, but not over the top. We'll be back.
10/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
We had a wonderful meal at this long time San Francisco restaurant. The highlight, in addition to food, is the atmosphere. Quiet, elegant, without being "stuffy". Great service. I would go back anytime. The bar is also lovely, with piano player. And you can order quite a few thing on the bar menu if you aren't looking for a big meal. Just wonderful.
11/3/2013 4:00:00 PM
Classic dining experience
Wonderful food and service in an gracious dining room.
11/10/2013 4:00:00 PM
The Big Four is my favorite
The Big Four is my favorite restaurant. The dining experience is wonderful due to the lovely atmosphere, kind and professional waitstaff, and delicious food. I am aware of the upcoming plans to renovate. I hope that the new owners will keep the Big Four
style as close to its present form as possible. It is old world charm at its best.
11/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
I'll be back
Excellent atmosphere unlike most hotel dining feel as if you are in a stand alone restaurant. Wonderful comfort food (chef excels at wild game as well - look out for her wild game dinners, usually in Jan / Feb ?).
I'll be back
11/12/2013 4:00:00 PM
Completely jammed like Farmshop
This is the place to return again and again for reliable and constant cuisine and excellent service.Large portions and great wines by the glass-the place was packed early on a midweek night with many repeat customers. Always a unique San Francisco tradition that has a huge following of locals and travelers alike. Nice desserts also.
11/12/2013 4:00:00 PM
A restaurants for grown ups
With a sense of grace and a kindly spirit, The Big 4 is the type of place that makes you feel better about life. Lots of neighbors around Nob Hill are regulars here, and you can feel the connection between the staff, some of whom have been at Big 4 for years and the patrons. That same friendliness if offered to newcomers as well.
The food is well made and the attention to detail is meticulous; drinks are strong and cold, and the wine list has good offerings in all price ranges.
11/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
We decided to dine at a nice restaurant rather than cook a big dinner for just two people. We had seen a review on "Check, Please" and we knew our dining experience would be fulfilling. We were not disappointed. I started with a warm crab and avocado salad - great flavors! Dawn had the ahi tartare - cleaned the plate! My entrée was naturally the roasted turkey with all the fixings. Very good! The turkey was moist, both white and dark, stuffing, gravy, yams, pearl onions, butternut squash, green beans, and mashed potatoes (which were cold). I could not eat everything on my plate, even though I tried! Getting stuffed on Turkey Day is, for me, part of the tradition. No room for dessert! Costs were not out of line, considering all that we had.
11/27/2013 4:00:00 PM
Lovely for Thanksgiving
We had Thanksgiving dinner here. The food was beautiful and tasted great. Our table was cozy and Intimate, but we did not feel isolated. Last year our table was too small for our party of three and we felt cramped. This year we had a larger table so we felt more comfortable. We had a great time.
11/27/2013 4:00:00 PM
Big 4 provides a wonderful
Big 4 provides a wonderful setting with excellent staff (from the bartender to host to servers and assistants) and a dining room that you can sit back and enjoy the well prepared food in a quaint environment.
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Dining and learning.....
Our waiter was Ron. a long-time employee of the restuaurant who earlier that day (Nov 29) had just converted the decor from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Despite his long day, he exhibited no weariness when we arrived for our 8:00pm reservation. He gave us a detailed explanation of the menu which only whetted our appetite more. During the course of the evening, he shared his tremendous wealth of knowledge of the restaurant, Huntington Hotel, the surrounding Nob Hill Restaurnant and many of San Francisco's citizens and visitors he has met during his entire career.
The menu was varied...I had the Seafood Rissoto which was disappointingly filling...disappointing in the fact that I did not allow room for dessert.
Expensive, but WELL WORTH IT!
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Glad you are around!
This neighborhood gem is a must for all who love San Francisco. The food, the ambiance and especially the service are wonderful. We shall miss The Big Four while the hotel is under construction. We think it's a bad idea to close it for even one night!
12/3/2013 4:00:00 PM
This is one of my favorite restaurants for many reasons. Precious historical site, wonderful sincerely friendly staff excellent menu (both in dining room and bar), and the iconic piano player sets the sophisticated tone. There is nothing else like it in San Francisco.
12/4/2013 4:00:00 PM