With Auld Lang Bauer naming his trends of the decade today, North Bay correspondent Carey Sweet takes the update review this week. Sweet—who, by the way, has taken down her headshot from her website—treks up to Windsor's Mirepoix. The 24-seat restaurant nabbed 2.5 stars upon opening in 2002, but this year, chef-owner Matthew Bousquet instated a new prix-fixe-only system, and the change has been for the better:
It's also a success, and refreshingly unfussy. Bousquet's cooking has always hinted at his roots in high-end French cuisine; here, his talents are realized and modernized, in delicate nubbins of sweetbreads layered over creamy potatoes and kicked up with fresh horseradish, and cool vichyssoise punched with truffle cream.In the end, even though it looks a little more upscale nowadays, Mirepoix earns the same 2.5 stars it received seven years ago, with the biggest shortcomings seeming to involve service. Still, the restaurant remains at the top of the Windsor food chain: "the comfortable charm that's made Mirepoix such a longtime favorite still shines brightly through." [Chron]
Paul Reidinger takes the show to Starbelly, with many encouraging words for the Beretta cousin: "In matters of food, Starbelly and Beretta are like fraternal twins: similar in certain respects but sharply different in others ... But pizza is less dominant at Starbelly, where chef Adam Timney's cooking rolls away in a number of sophisticated directions. Starbelly is probably the highest gastronomic peak in the Castro District at the moment, much as 2223 was 15 years ago." [SFBG]
John Birdsall jumps from the Weekly blog to take the review again, and he has some lukewarm reactions to the ways new Mission izakaya Nombe combines street food with a brick and mortar spot: "All the same, there's something about Nombe's ambition to spark a hybrid of street and restaurant that makes you want to see it thrive. Even if, like some 2 a.m. bar hookup driven more by need than attraction, you have to strap on beer goggles first." [SFW]
As noted earlier this week, Josh Sens' monthly review for SF Mag had a tepid two stars for OTD Bush: "Phan has sidestepped the pitfalls of expansion largely because of his talent, but also because he has a plan ... Yet his latest restaurant shows signs of strain ... It’s too harsh to call the food at Out the Door a flop, but it does fall short of Phan’s usual high standards." [SFM]
THE ELSEWHERE:The EBX is very quick to file on Berkeley's avant garde Eve, the PressDem has 2.5 stars for downtown Napa's Zinsvalley Restaurant, the MIJ's Tanya Henry finds refreshing Yucatecan cuisine at Novato's Points South, the CoCo Times has encouraging words for Walnut Creek's Do Sit Thai, Bar Bites is at Bubble Lounge, and Bargain Bites is at the FiDi's Saigon Deli Express.