SF Chronicle Top 100 2008
Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar
Va de Vi (Walnut Creek)
Cetrella (Half Moon Bay)
Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton
Dry Creek Kitchen(Healdsburg)
Fleur de Lys
Mantra (Palo Alto)
Scott Howard (closed)
re: Robert Lauriston
I haven't been to Buckeye, but of the restaurants on the list I've been to, I'd have to agree on Bay Wolf and Flora being dubious (I didn't really even like the food at Flora)...and you may not agree with me on this, but it did make me sad to see Dopo on the list and not La Ciccia...for that matter, La Ciccia would rank well above Firefly (and Pescheria) in my opinion...oh well, it is crowded enough already...
Bauer did say that most have full bars, and La Ciccia doesn't, which is probably a point or three against it...but Firefly is also beer and wine only.
Someone mentioned that Mexican food didn't do well this year....I think that reflects as much on the lack of good Mexican food in the bay area as anything.
I would be willing to bet that La Ciccia was one of the last 7 that got cut to take the list from 107 down to 100, but agree with you that it should've been included. Pescheria is not in the published list in the magazine so perhaps there is an error online. Pesce is on the list.
I think inclusion of some that you point to, such as Bay Wolf, Flora, Buckeye Roadhouse, has to do with maintaining some geographic diversity on the list. I haven't been to Flora, but think Bay Wolf and Buckeye are OK, nothing fabulous though.
Yeah, but is La Taqueria any worse than it was last year?
Despite his claims to cover the whole spectrum, he definitely went "upscale" on this list. There's not a single "ethnic" restaurant for which he didn't choose the most upscale (or expensive, if you don't count Jai Yun as upscale) representative. Bodega Bistro is a lot better Vietnamese restaurant than some of the mid-range Cal/American/Italian places, for example. I have trouble believing that Flora is better than Dona Tomas, since it's the same people.
I guess what I'm saying is that the list is biased toward Euro-American food, since an "ethnic" restaurant has to be outstanding or loungey-fusiony to make the list (that hip, full-bar factor), while there are a lot of just ordinary Euro-American places on the list.
re: Ruth Lafler
The bias is indisputable. Bauer doesn't go to many non-upscale restaurants, so he doesn't eat much ethnic food, so he doesn't have the background required to evaluate many cuisines. To give him credit, the people he assigns to do those reviews are generally well-qualified. (He's both the main critic and the boss of the food section.)
Flora is much more of a Bauer-style place than Dona Tomas: more upscale, nicer decor, somewhat more formal service, very serious full bar. Comparing his star ratings (Dona Tomas / Flora):
Food: 2.5 / 3
Service: 2.5 / 2.5
Ambiance: 2 / 3
Overall: 2.5 / 3
Pescheria is on the "by cuisine" list but is replaced by Plumed Horse on the alphabetical list.
Bocadillos and Va de Vi are on both the 2007 and 2008 lists.
Myth is also on the OUT list.
Not a good year for Mexican restaurants, according to Bauer. Not that I think La Taqueria is one of the top 100 Bay Area restaurants, but the list doesn't feel the same without them.
That really doesn't make sense. If he gives a restaurant four stars, how can it not be in the top 100? Maybe it was just a mistake.
Conceivably he left it out because he believes the chef is going to buy Myth and move over there. But by that reasoning he should have left out Pesceria, since it's closing (or has closed) and won't be reopening in its new location for a while.
i was pleased to see silks included in the list. food is very good, the room is gorgeous and the service outstanding. when last there, we had the chef, the sommelier and the head waiter spend some quality time at the table with us. we'll be back.
Here is the entire list:
MICHAEL BAUER'S TOP 100 RESTAURANTS OF 2008:
Bistro Don Giovanni
Bo's Barbecue and Catering
Cafe La Haye
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar
Swan Oyster Depot
The Matterhorn Swiss Restaurant
Va de Vi
Vik's Chaat Corner
Yoshi's San Francisco