photo credit: Bistro Ember

Bistro Ember image

Bistro Ember


Noe Valley

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night


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Bistro Ember is a sultry Turkish spot in Noe Valley that works best as a last-minute weeknight date spot if you find yourself in this stroller-filled neighborhood. With dim overhead lighting, small table lights, and soft acoustic covers of Top 40 hits playing in the background, the dining room is a perfect backdrop for couples seeking to slow down and enjoy their meal after a long day. Servers spray raki perfume (a Turkish liquor in a spray bottle) on kampachi crudo with melon gel and deliver chickpea yeast bread served with a side of butter that’s shaped like a honeycomb. Unfortunately, the entrees are where the menu is the weakest. When you’re paying upwards of $40 for a piece of lamb that doesn’t taste like much, it makes more sense to just grab a cold and hot appetizer, get a glass of zinfandel, and stare deeply into the eyes of the person across from you.

Food Rundown

The chickpea yeast bread at Bistro Ember.

photo credit: Ricky Rodriguez

Chickpea Yeast Bread

Sure, honeycomb butter adds a bit of sparkle to this bread dish, but great butter can’t make up for the sadness of tough bread.
Bistro Ember image

photo credit: Ricky Rodriguez

Fish & Raki

A theatrical crudo that’s prepared with a tangy granita and sprayed with a raki perfume. Yes, it’s a show, but it’s delicious.
Five manti in a yogurt sauce.

photo credit: Ricky Rodriguez


Creamy, juicy, tender. Get these soft little pillows on your table.
The lamb mutancana plate at Bistro Ember.

photo credit: Ricky Rodriguez

Lamb Mutancana

At $42 you would expect this slow-braised lamb to simply fall apart with one touch of your fork. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, and it’s pretty gamey as well, despite being slow-cooked for 12 hours.

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Suggested Reading

A spread of dishes at Dalida.


Dalida is a stunning Eastern Mediterranean restaurant in the Presidio with stellar highs and some disappointing lows. We still like it for a date or family dinner.

Taksim image

Taksim is an upscale Turkish spot in SoMa that will never disappoint no matter the occasion.


Going on a first or 100th date? You need this guide.

A spread of dishes and house bread at Tuba

Looking for a casual place to unwind with some kebabs? You need Tuba, a Turkish spot in the Mission.

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