The August issue of San Francisco Magazine is out, and it includes a host of dining-centric features, including some annual honors. As is the growing 2008 custom, Team Ubuntu dominates the chef awards, with Jeremy and Deanie Fox taking home a pair of awards, while Jessica Boncutter (Bar Jules) was named Rising Star and Thad Vogler (Beretta, Camino) nabbed Best Bar Manager honors.
Elsewhere in the issue is a fairly standard readers' poll (Best New Trend: organic!), and perhaps more notably, Josh Sens' "State of the Plate," in which SF Mag's restaurant critic reflects on the dining scene's current state of affairs. He begins his address at (where else?) Kuletoville:
... since such righteousness rings hollow from a guy who just inhaled a $54 porterhouse, I'l shy away from talk of the two Americas. Let's just say that two dining scenes have emerged in San Francisco, making this year and this city an odd, conflicted time and place to eat.
On the one hand, the shifting local climate seems especially conducive to gigantasaurus restaurants—big, chest-puffing creatures that subsist on the free spending of expense-account travelers and the condo-dwelling nouveau rich ... you get the sinking sense that we should open some casinos and call ourselves Las Vegas. It's hard for me to get excited about any of this.Of course, for every Epic Roasthouse and Waterbar, there are myriad neighborhood restaurants that very much please Mr. Josh, most of which have taken to serving platters of cured meat. He goes on to discuss many of his year's favorites—Bar Jules, South, Cafe Majestic, to name a few—and eventually concludes that despite the gigantasaurs, the state of the plate is quite strong, because well, there still are "a lot of swell spots to eat."
· 2008 Best Chef Awards [SFM]
· Readers' poll: Best restaurants 2008 [SFM]
· The State of the Plate [SFM]