The Bauer Hour files a biggie today, as he finally chimes in on the new version of SPQR. It's a day that has been anticipated ever since Matthew Accarrino inherited the kitchen from Nate Appleman along with those now-infamous 3.5 stars of '07. Two years later, SPQR 2.0 has forged a different path, and despite some fleeting nostalgia, M-Beezy quickly becomes a believer in the new version, giving it his stamp of approval:
Accarrino and this crew are focused and putting out unusual but approachable dishes ... [Shelley Lindgren] always has something new on the list, and if you leave the selections to her the choices are as interesting as the food ... with Accarrino in the kitchen I'd be hard-pressed to find a dish that wouldn't bring me back for more.In fact, pretty much the only road bump from the Bauer visits comes in the form of some waiter issues, dropping the service rating down to 2.5. In the end, the SPQR earns itself three stars overall, though it should be noted that the new food rating stays at the lofty 3.5-star level. [Chron]
Paul Reidinger revisits Noe Valley's Bacco, which was hit by tragedy when its owner disappeared last year. Fortunately, the restaurant has managed to stay on track: "Bacco, for me, has long been one of the best-looking Italian restaurants in the city...Under [Vincenzo] Cucco's steadying guidance, the food remains excellent. Bacco has long found a way between rigid insistence on Italian tradition and a tumble into sloppiness from the many temptations of California's abundance and freedom " [SFBG]
John Birdsall takes the SFW review this week, and raves about Il Cane Rosso: "Indeed, a meal here can feel like an act of restating your faith in San Francisco's culinary ethos ... What's amazing about Il Cane Rosso is the way the food expresses the ingredient-focused style of Cal-Med's 30-year-old traditions while making them feel absolutely contemporary." [SFW]
THE ELSEWHERE: 7x7 takes a quick look at the Castro's Chilango, Carey Sweet plays Robin to Bauer's Batman this week in the Datebook, giving two stars to Ray's Hot Pot in San Rafael, the EBX wastes no time in checking out the Claremont's brand-new Meritage, the PressDem has three stars for Sonoma's soulful Harvest Moon Cafe, the MIJ does comfort food at Fairfax's Deer Park Villa, Janny Hu stops in for a bar bite at Aziza, and lest we forget, the Sunday review had another two stars for Burlingame's Medallion Steakhouse.