Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Michael Bauer's 2010 List of the 100 Best Bay Area Restaurants

The SF Chronicle's 2010 list of the Best Bay Area Restaurants was released this morning! If you are planning a trip to the Bay Area, or just looking for a great place to dine, this is an excellent resource. Currently, my only disagreement, is that Commis in Oakland was left off of the list. Commis has a Michelin Star, and the food speaks for itself. It's certainly of a higher quality than many of the places on the top 100 list. Of the others that I've tried, here are some of my personal favorites, or the ones I usually list when someone poses my favorite question, "Where should we eat?"

Cyrus in Healdsburg - The most memorable and enjoyable dinning experience I've ever had. A special occasion type place if there ever was one.

Pizzaiolo in Oakland - My favorite/go-to restaurant in the Bay Area. It beats almost every pizza place I've tried in San Francisco, including Beretta. I've never had a dish that missed here. It's just the best. The chef recently opened up Boot and Shoe Service in the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland. It's basically just a paired down menu of Pizzaiolo's offerings. Also great.

Adesso in Oakland - The salumi selection is mind blowing, they put out a free spread of several of their dishes twice every evening (around happy hour time, and then again late at night). The wine list is excellent and the cocktails are even better.

Bouchon in Napa - A Thomas Keller restaurant, need I say more?

Dopo in Oakland - Another Italian place in Oakland, but this happens to be the restaurant that really turned me on to Bay Area restaurants when I moved in 2004. It's a neighborhood place that's benefited from word of mouth, and yet, it still strives to be a neighborhood place. They've expanded recently, but have kept their integrity and intimate feel.

Flora in Oakland - California/New American cuisine in Downtown Oakland. This place is not to be missed. Best cocktail list I've ever seen, excellent service, great food and one of my favorite dining atmospheres.

Flour + Water in SF - Italian again. Are you sensing a pattern? I admit, I'm biased, I love my Italian places. Get here early and you'll be rewarded. One of the best meals I've had in the past few years. It's an absolute gem.

Foreign Cinema in SF - As the name implies, this place can best be described as cinematic. You'd think it was just a gimmick, but the food erases any trace of that notion. A stunningly romantic restaurant.

Nopa in SF - California/New American cuisine. If you can stand the wait and finally score a seat, you're in for a good meal. One of my San Francisco favorites. The owners are also responsible for Nopalito, just a few blocks away. Terrific Mexican food in SF.

Vik's Chaat Corner in Berkeley - A Berkeley secret that's not so secret. It's a favorite of just about everyone around here. Indian street food done right at a great price. I'd say it's the best we have to offer of ethnic cuisine around here.

Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa - My parents introduced me to this place, and I've been many times over the years. It's just such an enjoyable place to eat, especially after a hard day of wine tasting.

Rutherford Grill in Rutherford - If I don't go to Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa, it's because I'm here. Such a fun place to spend part of your day in the Napa Valley. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu, and their wine list is truly great. A wonderful place to bring friends for a more casual, outdoor meal.

So there you have it. My 2 cents.

Check out the full list of the Top 100 Restaurants in the Bay Area, here.

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