Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chef Keller's Ad Hoc Now Open Nightly

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Aleta Watson reviews Cafe Artemis (1875 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 300, in the PruneYard Shopping Center, Campbell. 408-626-8100. www.cafeartemis.com), while Tracey Kaplan considers Café Pomegranate (221 E. San Fernando St., San Jose, 408-271-8822). ... Carolyn Jung reports, "Ad Hoc, celebrated chef Thomas Keller's restaurant that was supposed to be temporary but became permanent, now is open seven days a week. The 1-year-old restaurant, 6475 Washington Ave. in Yountville, features a $45 four-course prix fixe menu that changes nightly. For reservations, call (707) 944-2487." mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Stett Holbrook reviews the new seafood-centric Mexican restaurant Dia de Pesca (55 N. Bascom Ave., San Jose, 408.287.3722). metroactive.com ... Foodnotebook.com reports the opening of a new location of Jeffrey's (888 El Camino Real in Menlo Park). ... Zagat's just-released San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants survey has Gary Danko, the Fisherman’s Wharf new American restaurant, taking Top Food honors for the sixth straight year, also capturing the title of Most Popular restaurant; Pacific’s Edge, a Carmel standout, won for Decor; Erna’s Elderberry House in Oakhurst scored for Service; and Perbacco in downtown SF rates as Top Newcomer. zagat.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Critics Rate Peanuts Cafe, Myth, Cafe Dhaka

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Steven Chae reviews Peanuts Cafe (275 E. San Fernando St., San Jose. 408-998-9778), while Aleta Watson gives three and a half stars to Myth (470 Pacific St., San Francisco 415-677-8986). mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Cheryl Rule reviews Café Dhaka (3284 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, 408.985.1841). metroactive.com ... FoodNotebook.com visits Neto Caffe and Bakery (135 Castro St., Mountain View, CA, 650.625.9888).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Parcel 104 Tops 'The Wave' Readers Poll

IN THE NEWS: The Wave magazine's Readers' Choice Awards have been announced in the September 2007 issue, with Parcel 104 winning as Best Restaurant and Best Fine Dining, and Morton's the Steakhouse as Best New Restaurant. thewavemag.com ... The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal looks at the summerlong renovation efforts at downtown's Original Joe's, which closed June 4 and is expected to reopen in mid-September. sanjose.bizjournals.com ... The Mercury News' Sylvia Ulloa reviews Whole Foods (20955 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, 408-257-7000), while Aleta Watson reviews Mayflower Restaurant (428 Barber Lane at Milpitas Square, Milpitas, 408-922-2700). mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Stett Holbrook reviews Russian Café and Deli (1712 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell, 408.379.6680). metroactive.com ... FoodNotebook.com has breakfast at LuLu's ( 3539 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA, 650-854-8226).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Peet's Coffee Founder Alfred Peet Dies

IN THE NEWS: The Oregonian reports that Alfred Peet, founder of Peet's Coffee & Tea, died Aug. 29 at his Ashland, Ore. home at age 87. Peet opened the original Peet's store on the corner of Walnut and Vine in Berkeley, Calif. in 1966, and eventually added shops in Menlo Park, in Oakland and another in Berkeley across from the Claremont Hotel. Although he retired in 1983, Peet never fully gave up his passion in coffee. He continued to consult with coffee companies and was often known to drop by coffee stores and taste samples of coffee beans with its proprietors, his company said in a statement. oregonlive.com ... The San Francisco Chronicle's Inside Scoop column notes the upcoming opening of: Palo Alto's Calafia Cafe and Market a Go-Go, featuring slow food served fast, from chef Charlie Ayers (the Grateful Dead, Google) early next year in Town & Country Village at El Camino Real and Embarcadero; as well as the November move and expansion of St. Michael's Alley (806 Emerson St., Palo Alto) to a building a block away at 800 Homer. sfgate.com ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson reviews Marinus at Bernardus Lodge (415 Carmel Valley Road, at Laureles Grade, Carmel Valley, 831-658-3400), while Tracey Kaplan considers Staff of Life Natural Foods Market (1305 Water St., Santa Cruz, 831-423-8632. www.staffoflifemarket.com). mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Stett Holbrook reviews Quattro Restaurant and Bar (2050 University Ave., East Palo Alto, 650.470.2889). metroactive.com ... FoodNotebook.com notes the opening of Tandoori Oven (365 S. California Ave., Palo Alto) and reviews Gator's Neo-Soul Cafe (129 South B Street, San Mateo, 650.685.8100) and Woodside Bakery and Cafe (3052 Woodside Rd, Woodside, 650.851.0812).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

West's Largest Whole Foods Opens Doors

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Aleta Watson gives two and a half stars to Fatima Restaurant (10125 Bandley Drive, Cupertino 408-257-3893), while Carolyn Jung reviews The Counter (3055 Olin Ave., Suite 1035, in Santana Row, San Jose, 408-423-9200; also 369 California Ave., Palo Alto, 650-321-3900. www.thecounterburger.com). ... Jung also notes the opening of largest Whole Foods market in the West at 20955 Stevens Creek Blvd., featuring a Market Bistro that serves made-to-order sandwiches, soups and salads. The new 64,000-square-foot store replaces the Whole Foods across the street at 20830 Stevens Creek Blvd., which has closed. mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Stett Holbrook reviews Little Sichuan Express (34420-G Fremont Blvd., Fremont, 510.608.0585). metroactive.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chef Ayers Picks Spot for New Calafia Cafe

IN THE NEWS: FoodNotebook.com reports Chef Charlie Ayers has finally signed a lease for the location of his new Calafia Café. It will be in the Town & Country Village at the corner of Embarcadero and El Camino in Palo Alto. It is unlikely that Calafia Café will open before late 2008. ... The blog also reviews Mayflower Seafood Restaurant (428 Barber Ln, Milpitas, CA) and Korean BBQ (855 El Camino Real, Store 85, Palo Alto). ... MetroActive's Stett Holbrook reviews Vietnamese restaurant My Khe Quan Hue (960 Story Road, San Jose). metroactive.com ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson looks at restaurants with a view, including Barbara's Fishtrap (281 Capistrano Road, off Highway 1 at Pillar Point Harbor, Princeton-by-the-Sea), while Melinda Sacks considers Tea Time (542 Ramona St., Palo Alto. www.tea-time.com). mercurynews.com ... Tasteofthesuburbs.blogspot.com reviews Quattro (2050 University Avenue, Four Seasons Hotel, East Palo Alto).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, August 13, 2007

Critics Rate Sumika, Eulipia, Chicken Salsa

IN THE NEWS: MetroActive's Stett Holbrook reviews Sumika (236 Central Plaza, Los Altos). metroactive.com ... The Mercury News' Steven Chae reviews Chicken Salsa (12019 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, Saratoga), while Aleta Watson gives two and a half stars to Eulipia (374 S. First St., San Jose). ... Carolyn Jung reports, "Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will make his first visit to Sur La Table at San Jose's Santana Row at 5 p.m. Sept. 27. He will tackle a cooking demonstration outside the store, followed by a signing of his new book, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking (DK Adult, 272 pp., $40), inside the store. mercurynews.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wine Room Opening in Downtown Palo Alto

IN THE NEWS: FoodNotebook.com notes the opening of Gator's Neo-Soul Cafe in downtown San Mateo at 129 South B St., and the impending opening of The Wine Room, 520 Ramona St. in downtown Palo Alto. The space is currently undergoing remodeling. This is the location formerly occupied by the vegetarian Bay Leaf Cafe. ... The blog reviews Vive Sol in Mountain View and Dan Brown's Lounge in Palo Alto. ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson gives three stars to Woodside Bakery & Cafe (3052 Woodside Road, Woodside), while Sylvia Ulloa considers Annapoorna (573 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale). mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Cheryl Rule reviews Ragoots (17305 Monterey Rd., Morgan Hill). metroactive.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mag Lauds Local 'Eco-Conscious Chefs'

IN THE NEWS: Grist magazine's list of the world's top 15 eco-conscious chefs includes: Alice Waters, Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Calif; Dan Barber, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.; Chris Cosentino, Incanto, San Francisco; Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Ted Walter, Passion Fish, Pacific Grove, Calif.; David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif; and Peter Hoffman, Savoy, New York, N.Y. Runners-up include Frank Stitt, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Ala; and Christine Kim, Green Zebra, Chicago. grist.org ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson gives two and a half stars to Deezi Restaurant (1740 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell, www.deezirestaurant.com), while Steven Chae reviews Ohana Grill (1576 Branham Lane, San Jose), and Carolyn Jung blogs about a visit to Gator’s Neo-Soul Cafe in San Mateo. mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Stett Holbrook visits Ethiopian eatery Selam (3120 Williams St., San Jose). ... TasteOfTheSuburbs.blogspot.com stops by Kaygetsu (325 Sharon Park Drive, Menlo Park). ... Foodnotebook.com reviews Mike's Cafe ( 150 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park) and Iberia (1026 Alma St., Menlo Park).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Reviewers Consider Cafe Cruz, The Porridge

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Julie Kaufmann reviews The Porridge (1706 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas), while Aleta Watson weighs in on Cafe Cruz (2621 41st Ave., Soquel, www.cafecruz.com). mercurynews.com ... Metro Active's Stett Holbrook reviews 5-Spot Chivas Grill (869 S. First St., San Jose). metroactive.com ... gastronomy.wordpress.com visits Zibibbo (430 Kipling St., Palo Alto, www.zibibborestaurant.com). ... FoodNotebook.com visits Alpine Inn in Portola Valley.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, July 16, 2007

Reviewers Rate Iberia, Happy Dog Pizza

IN THE NEWS: Metro Active's Cheryl Rule reviews Iberia Restaurant (1026 Alma St., Menlo Park). metroactive.com ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson reviews Happy Dog Pizza (55 Fifth St., Gilroy) and notes Cava Wine Bar (115 San Jose Ave., Capitola, www.cavacapitola.com), while Melinda Sacks considers Sushi House (158 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto). mercurynews.com ... FoodNotebook.com visits Citrine (885 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Home Boy Chestnut Is Nathan's Top Dog

IN THE NEWS: San Jose's own Joey Chestnut dethroned six-time hot dog eating champion Takeru Kobayashi with 66 Nathan's hot dogs in 12 minutes at Coney Island on the Fourth of July ... Metro Active's Scott Holbrook reviews Persian eateries Chelokebabi (1236 Wolfe Road, Sunnyvale), Deezi Cafe (1740 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell), Reyhan (1625 Almaden Road, San Jose), and Saffron (1392 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose). metroactive.com ... The Wave magazine rounds up Silicon Valley steakhouses. thewavemag.com ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson reviews Nami Nami (240 Castro St., Mountain View). mercurynews.com ... FoodNotebook.com reports that Palo Alto's Golden Wok (451 S. California Avenue) has closed. The blog also notes that nearby Basia's Bistro, which is moving in the space that was formally Nora's Cafe, did not meet its original estimate of July 1st for opening.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Parcel 104, Rio Adobe, Canela Reviewed

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Aleta Watson awards three and a half stars in her review of Parcel 104 (2700 Mission College Blvd., in the Marriott Hotel, Santa Clara), while Steven Chae considers Vietnamese eatery Com Tam Nhu Y Restaurant (2095 N. Capitol Ave., Suite E, San Jose). mercurynews.com ... Todd Inoue reviews Mexican joint Rio Adobe (10525 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino) and Peruvian spot Canela Espresso and Pastries (10631 S. Foothill Blvd., Cupertino) for the Metro. metroactive.com ... FoodNotebook.com visits The Peninsula Creamery Dairy Store & Grill (900 High St., Palo Alto), 71 Saint Peter (71 N. San Pedro St., San Jose), Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, and notes the upcoming opening of La Tartine Patisserie and Cafe (830 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fraiche Yogurt Opens in Palo Alto

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' mercurynews.com Aleta Watson reviews Mandaloun (2021 Broadway, Redwood City), while Sylvia Ulloa considers 5 Spot Chivas Grill (869 S. First St., San Jose). ... MetroActive metroactive.com reviews Koji sake lounge. ... FoodNotebook.com notes the opening of Fraiche Yogurt (644 Emerson St., Palo Alto; www.fraicheyogurt.com) and reviews the Happy Hound (15899 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos), Top Dog (284B South 11th Street San Jose) and San Mateo's Kingfish. ... The blog also notes the upcoming opening of Basia’s Bistro, sometime this summer, in the former location of Nora’s Cafe, a creperie that suddenly closed earlier this year amid financial problems.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Downtown Bars, Clubs Face Later Closings

IN THE NEWS: Bars and clubs in downtown San Jose could stay open later under a pilot program aimed at reducing rowdiness downtown at closing time, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports. The Planning Commission was to hold a hearing on the plan June 11 at City Hall, and the City Council was scheduled to take it up at a June 19 meeting in council chambers. The temporary plan would go into effect this summer. The proposal is to allow bars in part of downtown to stay open until 3 a.m. so that customers will leave in a more orderly fashion. The city already requires bars to stop serving at 1:30 a.m. That would be unchanged. ... A Florida-based restaurant chain is putting out feelers that it wants to greatly expand its reach, the Denver Business Journal reports. Earl of Sandwich, founded in 2004 and based in Orlando, says it's looking for franchisees around the United States, including Denver. Other cities on the company's radar screen include Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Francisco (including Oakland and San Jose), Dallas/Ft. Worth, Seattle, Columbus, Nashville, San Diego, Cleveland, St. Louis and Sacramento. The company's president, Michael Grodi, said the goal is to add more than 100 locations a year. A former executive at Denver-based Quiznos, Grodi was named president and CEO of the sandwich chain in January. Quiznos sued Grodi and Earl of Sandwich in federal court in Denver in April, alleging Grodi would hurt Quiznos by disclosing their trade secrets about selling sandwiches to his new employer. Grodi left Quiznos in May 2006. He has denied Quiznos' allegations. ... Metro Active's Cheryl Sternman Rule reviews Green Elephant Gourmet (3950 Middlefield Road, Charleston Shopping Center, Palo Alto. metroactive.com ... FoodNotebook.com reviews Michael Mina's Arcadia in San Jose. ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson reviews Sam's Chowder House (4210 N. Cabrillo Highway, Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay). mercurynews.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

Diners Say: We Want Less

A survey of more than 4,000 diners finds that a substantial majority believes restaurant portions are too big. Fifty-seven percent said portions were too large; 20 percent said they were too small; and the 23 percent who had no opinion apparently thought they were just right. The results, reported in Nation's Restaurant News, an industry trade journal, were heavily skewed by gender and income. Sixty-seven percent of women believed portions were too large, while only forty-seven percent of men reached the same conclusion. Meanwhile, sixty percent of respondents making between $100,000 and $150,000 said portions were oversized. And that figure rose to seventy percent among those making more than $150,000. In contrast, and perhaps not surprisingly, only twenty-seven percent of those with incomes under $25,000 thought portions were too large.

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Aleta Watson reviews Onyx (374 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose). mercurynews.com ... Metro Active critic Stett Holbrook raves about chef Mike Miller's Trevese (115 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos). metroactive.com ... Blogger A Taste of the Suburbs tasteofthesuburbs.blogspot.com recommends fondue at Crepes Cafe in Menlo Park. ... FoodNotebook.com reviews The Palo Alto Creamery Fountain & Grill, "a Palo Alto institution formerly known as the Peninsula Fountain & Grill (which is still on the sign above the door). It has been downtown since 1923 and expanded a couple of years ago to a second location at Stanford Shopping Center. Great breakfust – that is not a typo as that is what they call it. All American breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not a place to go to for the latest food fad or seasonal cuisine as the menu proudly proclaims "Same Great Menu Since 1988."

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Chains May Need to Post Calorie Counts

The Sacramento Bee's Aurelio Rojas reports, "Over howls of "nanny government," the California Senate has approved (on May 31) legislation that would require chain restaurants with 10 or more locations to post calorie counts and other dietary facts about menu items. If approved by the Assembly and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, SB 120 would require table-serving restaurants to disclose the number of calories, grams of saturated and trans fat, sodium and carbohydrates for standard items. Because of space limitations, fast-food restaurants would be required to list only calories. Violators that do not comply with the requirements by Jan. 1, 2009, would be cited with an infraction, punishable by a fine not less than $50 and more than $500. The proposed legislation is modeled after a New York City law that takes effect July 1." sacbee.com

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News Aleta Watson reviews owner-chef Michael Miller's Trevese (115 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos), while Tracey Kaplan visits Wooden Nickel Bar & Grill (1819 Freedom Blvd., Freedom). mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Stett Holbrook reviews Hunan Taste (998 N. Fourth St., San Jose). ... FoodNotebook.com checks out Jeffrey's Hamburgers (42 S B St., San Mateo) and Gourmet Franks (199 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Starbucks Launching McCartney's Latest

IN THE NEWS: If you can't stand Paul McCartney music, you don't want to go into one of the many San Jose-area Starbucks on June 5. That's the day the Seattle coffee giant will launch McCartney's first album recorded on Starbucks' Hear Music label, called "Memory Almost Full," the Pugent Sound Business Journal reports. The album will be played in all Starbucks stores, all day, all over the world, Starbucks officials said. "Customers from Taipei to Topeka have the opportunity to experience this extraordinary album all within a span of 24 hours," said Ken Lombard, who is president of Starbucks Entertainment and runs Hear Music, in a statement. In March, Starbucks Corp. announced that former Beatle McCartney would be the first musician signed for Los Angeles-based Hear Music. ... The Mercury News' Aleta Wastson awards three and a half stars in her review of The Grill on the Alley (172 S. Market St., at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose), while Steven Chae stops by Whiz Burger (802 N. 13th St., San Jose). . mercurynews.com ... Metro Active's Stett Holbrook reviews three Afghani eateries: Ariana's Kabob House (4342 Thornton Ave., Fremont), Zaytoon Steak and Kabab (3701 Peralta Blvd., Fremont) and De Afghanistan Kabob House (37405 Fremont Blvd., Fremont). metroactive.com ... A Boston Globe story details Boston chef Chris Douglass' (co-owner of Icarus in the South End and Ashmont Grill in Dorchester) recent stint as a "celebrity chef ambassador" at Monterey Bay Aquarium's conference on fish stewardship. boston.com ... Blogger Food Notebook foodnotebook.com stops by Little Belmont Cafe (232 Harbor Blvd, Belmont).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, May 21, 2007

SF Weekly's Best of San Francisco List

SF Weekly's sfweekly.com annual Best of San Francisco is out, with Coi named the critics' Best New High End Restaurant. As for the readers choices:

Best Restaurant: Delfina
Best New Restaurant: Umami
Best Chef: Craig Stoll
Best Late-Night Eats: Sparky’s
Best Hidden Restaurant: Nopa
Best Patio: The Ramp
Best Romantic Restaurant: Fleur de Lys
Best Vegetarian Restaurant: Greens
Best Seafood Restaurant: Aqua
Best Greasy Spoon: The Pork Store
Best Thai Restaurant: Marnee Thai
Best Ethiopian Restaurant: Axum Café
Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Yumma’s Mediterranean Grill
Best Italian Restaurant: Delfina
Best Chinese Restaurant: House of Nanking
Best Greek Restaurant: Kokkari Estiatorio
Best Japanese Restaurant: Umami
Best Indian Restaurant: Naan n Curry
Best French Restaurant: Jeanty at Jack’s
Best California Cuisine: Zuni
Best Bakery: Tartine
Best Desserts: Citizen Cake
Best Ice Cream: Mitchell’s
Best Sandwiches: House of Bagels
Best Burrito: Papalote
Best Burger: Burgermeister
Best Steak: Izzy’s
Best Dim Sum: Yank Sing
Best Pizza: Little Star
Best Sushi: Ozumo
Best Brunch: Mama’s
Best Tapas/Small Plates: Cha Cha Cha
Best Barbecue: Memphis Minnie’s
Best Coffeehouse: Philz Coffee
Best Teahouse: Samovar
Best Grocery Store: Rainbow
Best Produce: Whole Foods
Best Farmers’ Market: Ferry Plaza
Best Bar: Zeitgeist
Best Brewpub: San Francisco Brewing Company
Best Wine Bar: CAV Wine Bar and Kitchen
Best Pickup Bar: Beauty Bar
Best Dyke Bar: The Lexington
Best Gay Bar: The Café
Best Hipster Bar: Zeitgeist
Best Karaoke Bar: The Mint
Best Smoking Bar: Amber
Best Happy Hour: The Elbo Room

Esquire's Best Bars Includes SF Foursome
Esquire magazine's second annual Best Bars of America list is out in the June 2007 issue. They include:

Lou's Pub & Package, Birmingham, Ala.; J Lounge, Golden Gopher, The Edison, The Broadway Bar, La Cita, Bordello, Redwood, and Bar 107, Los Angeles; Musso & Frank Grill, Hollywood, Calif.; The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills; Beach Ball, Newport Beach, Calif.; Brennan's Pub, Marina Del Ray, Calif.; Bourbon & Branch, The Owl Tree, Vesuvio, and Zeitgeist, San Francisco; The Sportsman, Sonora, Calif.; Cruise Room, and El Chapultepec, Denver; Jimbo's, and Churchill's Pub, Miami; The Clermont Lounge, Atlanta; Lewers Lounge at the Halekulani Hotel, and La Mariana Sailing Club, Honolulu; The California Clipper, The Red Lion Pub, Bungalow, The Matchbox, Hideout, and Chipp Inn, Chicago; The Red Key, and Nicky Blaine's, Indianapolis; The Old Seelbach Bar, Louisville; The Chart Room, The Bar at Tujague's, Fritzel's European Jazz Pub, and Napoleon House, New Orleans; The Brewer's Art, and Shamrock Inn, Baltimore; B-Side Lounge, Cambridge, Mass.; No. 9 Park, Boston; Doyle's Cafe, Jamaica Plain, Mass.; The Bar at Seldom Blues, Detroit; Miller's Bar, Dearborn, Mich.; Bulldog NE, and Nye's Polonaise Room, Minneapolis; Half Time Rec, St. Paul; John D. McGurk's, St. Louis; Any bar on the Strip, Double Down Saloon, and Petrossian Bar, Las Vegas; Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, Little Branch, The Bar at Keens Steakhouse, Minetta Tavern, Jimmy's Corner, The Angel's Share, The Brooklyn Inn, The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel, Flatiron Lounge, The Saloon, San Domenico Restaurant, Spuyten Duyvil, 21 Club, Grassroots Tavern, Bill's Gay 90s, Julius', and Pegu Club, New York City; Freddy's Bar & Backroom, Brooklyn; Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Queens; Thomas Street Tavern, Charlotte, NC; Andyman's Treehouse, Columbus, Ohio; The Library Bar & Grill, Norman, Okla.; Friendly Lounge, The Grey Lodge, and Southwark, Philadelphia; Dee's Cafe, Pittsburgh; Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, and Robert's Western World, Nashville; La Tuna, San Antonio; Donn's Depot, Austin; The Inwood Lounge, Dallas; Shooting Star Saloon, Huntsville, Utah; Sambar, Zig Zag Cafe, and Fu Kun Wu, Seattle; Hawk 'n' Dove, and The Tune Inn, Washington, DC; Holler House, Milwaukee.

IN THE NEWS: The New York Times reports on the revival of San Jose and references restaurants Arcadia and Original Joe's. nytimes.com ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson gives two and a half stars to Palace B.B.Q. Buffet (1092 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale). mercurynews.com ... Metro Active's Stett Holbrook reviews Udupi Palace (976 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale). metroactive.com ... FoodNotebook.com stops by Two restaurant in SOMA.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, May 14, 2007

SF No. 3 on Best Restaurant Cities List

"Today ... most major cities in the U.S. have the kind of gastronomic diversity and regionality that is rich in every department, and even if you’ve visited recently, you can be sure that next time you go, there’ll be more new and enticing restaurants than you could possibly visit," writes Donald Burnam in a recent ForbesTraveler.com piece, "America's Best Restaurant Cities." "It’s getting hard not to have a great meal anywhere in the U.S.." Burnam continues.

Forbes' Top 10 Restaurant Cities:
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. New Orleans
6. Houston
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Atlanta
9. Boston
10. Las Vegas

Rankings were based on: Overall number of restaurants above the fast food level; Number of fine dining restaurants with national and international standing; Solid representation of regional American food; A wide segment of second-tier restaurants that would include seafood, steakhouses, and independently chef-owned restaurants; Breadth and depth of ethnic restaurants, especially if the city has neighborhood such as a Chinatown; A significant number of neigborhood restaurants where the locals tend to eat out regularly; A well-traveled clientele that regards eating out in that city one of the real pleasures of going there.

IN THE NEWS: Critic Aleta Watson reviews Los Gatos Brewing Co. (130 N. Santa Cruz Ave., at Grays Lane, Los Gatos) in the Mercury News, while Sylvia Ulloa critiques Red Kwali with Martin Yan (179 Ranch Drive, Milpitas). mercurynews.com ... Metro Active reviews the pizza at Slice (266 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell). metroactive.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Keller, Des Jardins Among Beard Winners

Chicago's Frontera Grill won Outstanding Restaurant of the Year and Michel Richard of Michel Richard Citronelle in Washington, D.C. was named Outstanding Chef at the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Hosted by CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, the Beard Awards were held May 7 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center. More than 60 awards were presented by the country's pre-eminent nonprofit culinary organization, in its 20th anniversary celebration, and more than 1,600 industry leaders attended the ceremony. Other top awards went to: New York's L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, named Best New Restaurant; Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca.) received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur; and David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York) received the Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Celebrity and culinary superstar attendees included Stephanie March, Ted Allen, Katie Lee Joel, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Padma Lakshmi, and Marcus Samuelsson. The Foundation's Media Awards took place at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway Hotel on May 6. All Award winners received a bronze medallion etched with the image of the late James Beard, the esteemed chef, cookbook author, and food journalist. There are no cash awards. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry in North America. For full awards results, please visit http://www.jamesbeard.org.

Beard Award highlights are:

AMERICA'S CLASSICS: Primanti Brothers, Demetrios Patrinos, Pittsburgh, Pa.; The Pickwick, Christopher Wisocki, Duluth, Minn.; Doe's Eat Place, The Signa Family, Greenville, Miss.; Aunt Carrie's, Elsie Foy, Narragansett, R.I.; I

Brookville Hotel, Mark and Connie Martin, Abilene, Kan.; Weaver D's, Dexter Weaver, Athens, Ga.

BEST CHEF, GREAT LAKES: Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago

BEST CHEF, MID-ATLANTIC: R.J. Cooper, III, Vidalia, Washington, DC

BEST CHEF, MIDWEST: Celina Tio, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.

BEST CHEF, NEW YORK CITY: David Waltuck, Chanterelle, New York, NY

BEST CHEF, NORTHEAST: Frank McClelland, L'Espalier, Boston

BEST CHEF, NORTHWEST: John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle

BEST CHEF, PACIFIC: Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco

BEST CHEF, SOUTH: Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

BEST CHEF, SOUTHEAST: Scott Peacock, Watershed, Decatur, Ga.

BEST CHEF, SOUTHWEST: Nobuo Fukuda, Sea Saw, Scottsdale, Ariz.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Chef-Owner: Joël Robuchon, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING CHEF: Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT: Frontera Grill, chef-owner: Rick and Deann Bayless, Chicago

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman, Tru, Chicago

OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL: Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, Calif.

OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE: Mark Slater, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY

In other area Beard award winners, the San Francisco Chronicle's Food and Wine sections were named Best Newspaper Section for the second straight year. Chronicle staff writer Janet Fletcher's story on how to cook duck won in the category of Best Feature Story with Recipes. And winner for Best Local Television Food Show went to Check, Please! Bay Area, with host Leslie Sbrocco at KQED Public Television in San Francisco, with producer Tina Salter.

IN THE NEWS: USA Today's May 4 story on the ethical eating movement -- which is driven by customers who seek out food that is produced locally, organically and in a manner that has minimal effect on animals and the environment -- includes mention of these restaurants: Red Avocado, Iowa City, Iowa; T'afia, Houston; Sage's Cafe, Salt Lake City; Early Girl Eatery, Asheville, N.C.; Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Calif.; Restaurant Nora, Washington, D.C. ... Mercury News critic Aleta Watson awards three stars in her review of the Indian restaurant Rangoli, 3695 Union Ave., at Camden in San Jose ... Metro Active critic Stett Holbrook reviews the Malaysian eatery Rasa Malaysian (formerly Penang Garden), 1290 Coleman Ave. in Santa Clara ... Blogger A Taste of the Suburbs visits Crepes Cafe, 1195 Merrill St. in Menlo Park ... New York blogger The Amateur Gourmet visits San Francisco and lists his favorite stops.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Sunday, April 29, 2007

James Beard Awards Await

Roughly the dining out equivalent of The Academy Awards, The James Beard Foundation annual awards ceremony takes place Monday, May 7, at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. San Francisco's talented Traci Des Jardins of Jardineire, Roland Passot of La Folie, Craig Stoll of Delfina, Michael Tusk of Quince, and Douglas Keane of Cyrus in Healdsburg, Ca., are the five nominees for Best Chef: Pacific. Go to www.jamesbeard.org for the complete list, but here's a partial list of national nominees:

-- Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C., Picholine, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.
-- Best New Restaurant: A Voce, New York City; Chochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hills, Calif; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York City; Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas.
-- Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York City; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (R.J. Grunts, Wildfire, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!), Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Rubicon), New York City; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges restaurant, New York City.
-- Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft, New York City; Lee Hefter, Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Jean Joho, Everest, Chicago; Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.
-- Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel, Philadelphia; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connelly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York City.

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Aleta Watson awards three stars in her review of Osteria, 247 Hamilton Ave., at Ramona, Palo Alto., while Steven Chae eats at Chef Ko Chinese Cuisine, 876 W. Hamilton Ave. (near Darryl Drive), Campbell. www.mercurynews.com ... Meanwhile, Watson points readers of the Merc's food blog Belly Full (mercetra.com/blogs/food) to her former colleague David Plotnikoff's expansive review of the area's sushi joints at www.emeraldlake.com/sushilist ... Blogger foodnotebook.com explores the popularity of In-N-Out Burgers and hips readers to: Nikko's Cafe Mexican Grill, 408 El Camino Real, Redwood City; and Little Belmont Café, 232 Harbor Blvd, Belmont ... Pho Hoa Binh, 756 Woodside Road in Redwood City is reviewed by blogger tasteofthesuburbs.blogspot.com ... Muchos Mexican restaurant in downtown San Jose will get an expanded menu thanks to new ownership, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports. sanjose.bizjournals.com ... Blogger sfist.com raves about Patxi's Chicago Pizza, in Palo Alto and San Francisco. ... Blogger jatbar.com barks at the Hungry Hound and raves about the deep fried corn on the cob at Jonathan's Fish and Chips.