San Francisco Chronicle "Bay Area`s Top 100 Restaurants"
From Michael Bauer
Since my first Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants guide was published 19 years ago, I've
visited thousands of places, from Los Gatos to Calistoga and every place in between.
Compiling the list is an ongoing project. I dine out every night — sometimes I'll have two
or three dinners in an evening — checking out new restaurants and returning to those I've
It's a continual process to reinvigorate the guide and come up with the widest range of
first-rate choices. Every restaurant represented here has been visited at least three times,
and in most cases, more.
Each year, I revisit every restaurant on the previous year's list, and also all the new places
that deserve to be considered. This year, 20 restaurants were added, including Nido in
Oakland, Coqueta in San Francisco, Sir & Star in Olema, and Iyasare in Berkeley.
It's always a difficult decision because for every new addition, a really good restaurant
has to be bumped. Fortunately, we live in an area where I could compile the Top 200
restaurants and still leave out some spectacular choices.
Aside from the places included that opened last year, some restaurants that have been
around for a while upped their cooking game enough to deserve a spot — places like
Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern and Hong Kong Lounge II in San Francisco; Picco in
Larkspur; and Madrona Manor in Healdsburg.
Each year, when I finally finish the list, I reawaken to the fact that dining in the Bay Area
is so rich. It's inarguably one of the best places to eat in the United States, and maybe the
— Michael Bauer, Chronicle restaurant critic
May 8, 2014 | Updated: May 10, 2014 11:28pm
Housed in a century-old boathouse with concrete floors, a soaring weathered wood roof and blue
paned windows that overlook the bend of the Napa River, this French bistro offers a unique take on
the Napa Valley. A sense of luxury is added with large bouquets of flowers at the door and pots of olive
saplings on each table. There's also a covered freestanding patio that's ideal during warm months.
Chef Rogelio Garcia features classic preparations with a twist: deconstructed boeuf bourgignonne
updated with chunks of red wine-braised beef cheeks, carrots, turnips and marble potatoes arranged
around braised cabbage; and a duck breast and confit leg with chervil pesto and pickled kumquats.
Owner Bettina Rouas is a master at running the dining room.