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Bauer's Top 10 for '07 - whadda think?

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  1. Folks, please feel free to discuss the restaurants on Bauer's top 10 list, and add your opinions of them (or other local restaurants). If you'd like to add your comments on Bauer or his methodology, please start a new discussion on the Food Media and News board. Thanks!

    1. I've been to only two places on his top 10 lists: Laiola and Perbacco and I agree that both were among the top new restaurants to open in 2007.

      I wonder if 1300 might make it to next year's list? It opened in 2007 but probably too late for a Bauer three-dinner review.

      And I really don't get how Spruce has been dubbed "the most talked about new restaurant opening" of the year? Who did all the talking? What was so special about Spruce that people were talking about it before it opened? I haven't tried it yet but heard mixed reviews about the service so that's been holding me back on rushing over there.

      Of his list, SPQR and Wood Tavern are two places I really want to try but haven't yet.

      8 Replies
      1. re: singleguychef

        I tried Laiola, Perbacco and Ducca (single visit to each place). I thought Perbacco was overrated, but enjoyed Laiola (fabulous quail, and I loved the chorizo stuffed dates wrapped in bacon) and Ducca (great arroncini and appetizers).

        1300 was probably my favorite new restaurant this year, although I also had an excellent meal at Spruce (service was excellent the one time I dined there).

        1. re: singleguychef

          LOL! I had the same reaction to him calling Spruce the "most talked about" restaurant -- not on Chowhound, that's for sure! Especially compared to a restaurant he didn't mention at all: La Ciccia (how in the world did he leave off La Ciccia?).

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I am not sure if he has reviewed La Ciccia, but in any case IIRC it opened in 2006...

            Of the ones I haven't tried yet, the most appealing from his descriptions is Cafe Majestic.

            1. re: susancinsf

              You are right about La Ciccia. It was reviewed in July 2006 by none other than Robert Lauriston

              http://www.sfweekly.com/2006-07-05/di...

              1. re: susancinsf

                Perbacco also opened in 2006...I wonder if Bauer meant to discuss restaurants he reviewed in 2007?

                1. re: Frosty Melon

                  I think so, because he also mentioned that one restaurant that opened late this year might be on the 2008 list.

                  I just checked, and he reviewed La Ciccia in July of 2006, so I guess it was too early to make the list (Perbacco wasn't reviewed until January of 2007). So much as it pains me, I'll have to give him a break on that one! ;-)

                  1. re: Frosty Melon

                    He reviewed Perbacco too late in 2006 to make it on the 2006 list (he mentioned that in the list at the time).

                    I have to say, I love Wood Tavern, and love that it's in my neighborhood, and hate that he keeps talking about it. It had just gotten a little easier to get in there, and then boom, Bauer. Now I'm not going to be able to eat there again for months.

              2. re: singleguychef

                I thought the service at Spruce could not have been better; we were all very pleased with the wait staff. On the other hand, all 5 of us thought it was too expensive for the quality and quantity of the food. I'd go back to try the $12 hamburger on homemade english muffin -- heard that's excellent. We did enjoy the warm palmiers for dessert. Space is very beautiful. Wine list impressive.

              3. I dined at quite a few on Bauer's list. I thought that Laiola was disappointing, that Cafe Majestic was absolutely wonderful (request the foie gras ice cream), and Perbacco was totally worth the hype. Their staff is fantastic too!

                1 Reply
                1. re: christineb

                  SPQR would easily top of my best-new-of-2007 list, if I made one.

                  I was very disappointed with Laiola. They'd been open for almost two months by the time I ate there, so I can't chalk it up to opening glitches.

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/42497...

                2. We were at SPQR for new year's eve. The food was excellent but I'm not sure
                  if we'd wait 1.5 hours next time. The place may be more crowded than usual because of
                  NYE. We opted for the regular menu instead of the special NYE menu. The 5
                  appetizers for $28 deal is a great deal and we couldn't resist.
                  It was a bit too much food for two of us
                  but they were so good that we finished most of the 5 dishes - the chicory salad was
                  probably our favorite among the 5 - the others being pork sausage, fried pecorino, Broccoli di ciccio. I was not able to finish my beef brisket main course because
                  I was so full from the appetizers but it tasted great the next day. The brisket was a
                  bit heavy on salt. My wife's pasta with rabbit ragu was also wonderful and the service
                  was great if a bit hurried. The chocolate panna cotta was decadently delicious and
                  the persimmons and walnuts provide a nice contrast to the mousse.
                  NOPA and SPQR have moved near the top of my list with NOPA having an edge
                  - mostly because of the wait at SPQR.

                  1. Can't agree with his lavish praise for Nick's with its food that's nothing out of the ordinary. Thought Spruce deserved to be on his list. Overall a spectacular atmosphere and excellent food.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: PGB

                      Tried Nick's Cove for lunch this week before the rains came. Got there at 11:30 to assure a window seat looking out on a sunny Tomales Bay landscape. Loved it.

                      Started with a dozen oysters -- all from Tomales Bay. Saltwater fresh with no need to obscure with the sauces. The muscadet on the wine list ($28) was outstanding with the oysters.

                      Next had the Crab Louie and shared brussel prouts and fries. Crab Louie was ridiculously fresh, chunky and served on a head of Boston lettuce. Dressing was light -- not a heavy 1000 Island style. Brussel sprouts were sauteed with slivers of bacon -- delicious. Fries were good but not spectacular.

                      Ambiance was busy, active and fun. Scenery was spectacular. Will go again many times focusing on freshest ingredients simply prepared.

                      1. re: cortez

                        Nice Nick's Cove report

                        -----
                        Nick's Cove
                        23240 Hwy 1, Marshall, CA 95450

                    2. Well I can only speak about Perbacco and I whole-heartedly agree. It's an exceptional restaurant. The list also inspires me to try out a few restaurants that weren't already on my radar. Would love to try SPQR.

                      1. Ubuntu's mention is well-deserved. I agree w/ everything he said.