The 1881

4.4
58 reviews
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$50 and over
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Californian
The 1881 at the historic Mansion on Sutter is located in San Francisco and showcasing seasonal Contemporary California-French cuisine that is complemented by a world-class wine program, expertly crafted cocktails and extraordinary service. The restaurant’s kitchen is headed up by Chef John Goulette.

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Mon - Fri 5:30PM - 9:30PM

What 58 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RO
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrate two very special birthdays for guests who "have everything". We experienced a profoundly enjoyable meal, superb cuisine and first rate service. I recommend starting the evening with one of their specialty cocktails (I had the 1881) and melting into any one of the super comfy sofas or chairs. If you want to know what it might have been like in the elegant grand old days do yourself and a special loved one the favor of coming here. My wife and I are already counting down the months to our anniversary.

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P
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Good food. The smoked trout literally smokes :) the duck breast is very good too.

Service overall is detailed and meant well, a couple of misses like having to ask for additional bread multiple times. The water wasn’t refilled even after asking. These are the little details that matters. And they keep trying to clear the plates even when guest is still eating, literally fork is in hand. Please stop doing that.

However we booked this place because the noise level is meant to be quiet. And it does not disappoint. We can actually talk. There’s plenty of space between tables, so plenty of privacy as well. This can be a great place if not for the couple of easily fixable service issues.

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P
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Beautiful building that has been beautifully restored. Intimate and formal atmosphere. I personally prefer the more lively places but that's not what they try to be. Excellent service. Good food. All in all a great addition to the SF restaurant scene...

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

The service at the door was perfect. The bartender did his best, many of the beers were sold out unfortunately.
The service in restaurant was not good: the waiters didnt pay attention, didnt memorize who ordered what, BUT the men who clean the tables were perfect!
The food wasnt good either: the charcuterie platter had ice cold chuncks of meat, the duck mousse was covered in other meat. The main dish with crab was SUPER spicy, the steak was very salty. The bottle of wine we ordered was, again, sold out..

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s
San Francisco
71 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

The food here was wonderful, and the Victorian decor is cozy and quaint. The staff were also quite gracious and attentive, but there were some time lags between ordering , receiving appetizers and the main entree that seemed unnecessary. The prices are a smidgeon high for what you get as well. That said, the meal was top notch and we enjoyed the space.

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D
San Francisco
126 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Beautiful resturant and the service was amazing. It was very expensive. More than you need to spend for a special dinner. (We know since we are foodies and go out every weekend somewhere wonderful). We will not return only because it is unnecessary to spend that much.

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JA
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service, fantastic ambience, delicious food. Highly recommended. We will be back!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Some of the rudest, most unprofessional and unhelpful staff I have encountered in a long time and certainly unexpected at an establishment of this history, prestige and price! Even though the food was quite good, it was near impossible to recover from the shock of the bad hospitality.

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CW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second time here since the restaurant opened in January. The place is impeccable on all levels. I'd highly recommend for a lovely evening out.

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PN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every aspect of this dining experience was impeccable. Gracious service, elevated cuisine, and a beautiful historic setting.

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CA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never written a review on a restaurant but am feeling compelled. The 1881 is a hidden gem in San Francisco. I have been coming to San Fran on business for decades and am so glad I found this restaurant. Ambiance, service, and the quality, along with the preparation, presentation, and taste of the food was outstanding. Absolutely incredible experience!

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JG
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific spot for special occasions. Not inexpensive but you won't regret going.

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PN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creative cocktail program, impeccable food (get the smoked trout!), great service, and a relaxing ambiance.

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B
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was excited to try this new place based on the sheer ambition of the owners. As a former Londoner, I appreciate any attempt to bring fine dining and ennobled environment to San Francisco. The 1881 delivers on expectations. The interior of the building is brilliantly restored to its former glory, and the various dining rooms exude unique personalities—including an original collection of Salvador Dali drawings. It makes sense that the original owner of the building was an industrialist that wildly benefited from the Gold Rush, as the details are simply lavish.

Sergio was a fantastic host, and the magnificent food was served promptly, hot, and expertly crafted. The menu selection was also smart, including pheasant and Wagyu ribeye. Personally, I thought the oysters with a surprising dash of caviar was the best plate of the evening.

Overall, I truly enjoy this place, and I hope others in San Francisco discover it—because it would be good for the city to attract this level of talent.

Thank you Pierre and Sergio for a phenomenally rendered experience.

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p
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The 1881 is an elegant new restaurant near our home. The many staff members know how to do their jobs and say the right things. Unfortunately there are long wait times between courses — even at the beginning when ordering a cocktail. We dined at 6 pm on a Sunday and there were relatively few diners at the beginning. After the excellent amuse-Bouche we enjoyed local oysters to start. My pheasant with mushrooms was moist and delicious. My husband was not as happy with his crab dish. The food is very good and the staff are trying hard to please — perhaps trying a little too hard. If only the kitchen would speed up its act, we would probably return.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The ambiance was great for an evening dinner with my parents. The hotel/restaurant is beautiful and not a single person was on their phone, something I love at a nice restaurant. Staffing seemed a tidbit light but everyone was working hard.

The bar had one tv that was clearly high quality but in black and white which was a great touch and gave the feel of an older place, but allowed us to keep in touch with the NBA game.

Food was great for the most part (their bread is made in-house as well). But the waitress recommendations were spot on for us. The ones she did not specifically recommend, while still good, were not quite as good. The smoked trout, the duck, the pheasant, and the Wagyu beef were all fantastic. No one at the table ordered fish or vegetable entrees. The Apple Galette was also amazing!

I’d recommend you check this place out for a nice quaint/quieter dinner.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant, however some tables were a bit too close together. The layout could be changed a bit. My fork was also dirty for one of the courses, but was promptly replaced with an exceptionally clean fork upon asking. The price was actually quite steep for the amount of food served, especially on Valentine's day. I did leave full, but not heartily full. Overall, very nice.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Really nice ambiance and food! Recommend to visit this restaurant.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Karina was wonderful! Excellent ambiance!

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H
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Beautiful boutique hotel restaurant located in an historic mansion on the edge of Pacific Heights. The staff were abundant, competent and attentive at every turn. It was difficult to watch them struggle with whatever issues are going on in the kitchen and management in general. We started with The Alienist, which is the house Gin and Tonic. It was very well done craft cocktail. There was no wine list...nothing. But, on the cocktail menu there are a few wines listed by the glass.
The waiter did let us know that we could request any type of wine we requested. We ordered a bottle of chablis with my stated budget of 100.00. It arrived at room temperature. The waiter apologized and put it on ice, offering us complimentary Sav Blanc while it was chilling. We were offered an amuse bouche of duck confit in pastry, which was lovely. Next came the Wagyu Beef Tartar. It was delicious, but the accompanying tarot chips were oily and slightly limp. The harissa roasted root vegetables with pistachio "whip" was a real winner. Deep delicious flavors for a rainy winter evening. Our entrees (Scallop and Black Cod) arrived warmish, which is a shame as the flavors and textures were delightful. We were headed to a birthday party so we did not order desert. As bad as this may sound, it's a new restaurant, with a great wait staff, in a beautiful space and the food hints at greatness. We have decided to go back and try it again in a couple months. All the elements are there, they just need to refine their processes. I would expect that the service will get a little smoother every day...and we will recommend this to our friends.

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GF
San Francisco
228 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

1881 is a beautiful restaurant, perhaps one of the most beautiful in SF. It's a converted mansion on Sutter St. If you walk the sidewalk, you can easily miss the restaurant, but there is a small sign showing 1881. 1881 is the year the mansion was built. And now it's converted to a hotel with two stories and a large dining area of several rooms. It's beautiful inside with tall ceilings and elegant, Victorian styling. And the food is great! We started with the six oysters. These were large, perhaps the largest we've seen. They only serve it with lemon, but they put something on the oysters. They were delicious. Then we had the wagyu beef tartar, which is served with bread, and it was super delicious. The small chunks of beef on the bread was just delicious. No morsel of meat was left uneaten. The smoked trout is a dish not to be missed. It's served in a smoking bowl. They they remove the cover and the smokey flavor is wonderful. And the taste of the smoked trout is perfect. Oh, that's a really unique dish! The mushroom risoto which was obviously cooked with butter and wine was superb! Our entrees was great with the black cod and duck breast. These are some delicious dishes! And they serve wine by the glass from their own winery in Santa Barbara, which is also top quality. Overall, the food and ambiance at 1881 is wonderful. I look forward to going back for seconds!

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KP
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great wine, lovely ambiance, would def go again

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C
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing new location in San Francisco, very classy, delicious food & fun wine list. Strongly recommend it!

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LG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent! My new fav spot in SF. Excellent service, food and the building itself is beautiful.

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PN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional in all respects. Superb, classical food. The smoked trout is a great way to go. Attentive, unobtrusive service. Beautiful, elegant setting.

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SO
Phoenix
7 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

I’m a history buff so given the setting, we wanted to love every part of this. The highlights were the wine, bread, and the rum cocktail. I would order the pheasant again too. The tartar and crab chili were acceptable, but the truffle pappardelle?? You were so promising with the description, but bland and wanting in reality. Sad that the execution couldn’t pull it off.

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OT
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Romantic, unique spot in a historic SF mansion serving French cuisine along with an impressive wine list. Desserts did not disappoint! Take a stroll before or after dinner to view rare Salvador’s Dali artwork!

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SF
Melbourne / VIC
11 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This old Victorian is gorgeous! The food was delicious. The cocktails very tasty and the wine by the glass all come from the owners vineyard. We really liked the Chardonnay. Timing of food delivery was great and we felt very well attended. I recommend going before more people hear about this. It’s only be only a couple weeks at this point I believe.

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PC
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely beautiful venue with spectacular food and perfect service. Service attentive but not over-bearing.
Only negative was the martini was about average.

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SH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

The ambience and quality of the service are outstanding, like many fancy places this is what you pay for. The food was mediocre. The plates look artistic, but the flavors/quality were bad. My risotto was just a super salty rice. My partner's duck was barely cooked. And our seafood was not fresh.

I really just wanted to see the mansion from the inside, and it is as amazing as you would expect. You will feel like you are having dinner in a European museum.

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R
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fine dining in a Victorian mansion... it doesn’t get any more San Francisco than this. And yet, it is the only place in the city where you can experience something like this.
Chef John is clearly on its way to at least 1 Michelin star, with delicious, creative dishes that stay true to the French, Italian and modern American cuisine that inspire him. The staff is also phenomenal, friendly yet extremely professional. Can’t wait to come back. I have a feeling this will become our go to place for date nights, corporate dinners, and more.

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e
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Really enjoyed our visit. The cocktails were outstanding and the food was all very good. Loved the cozy intimacy, we live in the neighborhood and it’s nice to have a place to step out to.
The portions were larger than expected so we didn’t have room for dessert.
They are still working out the timing on dishes: there were just 2 of us sharing dinner and they brought all 3 appetizers at once and then there was a long delay for the entree. We would have preferred each dish spaced sequentially. They did realize we had a long wait and comp’ed us 2 glasses of nice champagne which was classy unfortunate because we had had too many cocktails already!
Overall a good experience, I hope they can work out the timing to go along with the rest of the service!

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PN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional in every respect: elegant setting, welcoming staff, creative and satisfying food.

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SP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant. I never write reviews but it was good.

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PN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service, very creative food, great cocktails, and a very comfortable ambiance.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visiting from LA. Love this place! The world needs to know about this place. Had an opportunity to dine here and it was a phenomenal experience. The cocktail presentation from the manager was amazing and incorporated so much of the buildings history into the restaurant. I look forward to another business trip where I can stop by and dine once again!

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CW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The building is gorgeous and the luxurious food was well executed. The service was very attentive. I'm glad we went in the restaurant's early days as it is going to be a hit and I'll never be able to get a reservation again. I strongly recommend going and enjoy the grand surroundings.

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DW
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I'm in move with this hotel! I really appreciate the decor, the details. It's a great spot for happy hours, group celebrations, romantic dates, business meetings. It's private. It's so beautiful!

The service was on point, great staff.

We tried four of their starters: smoked halibut, beet salad, fois gras and the muscles & clams. All four dishes were beautifully presented. I loved my muscles and clams! I tried the beet salad, great flavor, fresh.

I had the pheasant as my entree. There was lots of meat! The flavor was great. Love the mushrooms! My boyfriend had the duck. It was a tasty plate as well!

The property manager/owner toured us an empty guest room. That was a very nice gesture. Maybe we will plan staycation here!

I will come back!!!

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great new restaurant! I highly recommend it. And to top it off, the setting is stunning.

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OT
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

NYE dinner didn't have the same issues that others mentioned from Xmas Eve dinner. Service was prompt, food came out at good temperature, and ambiance was nice.

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