Today, B-Pain returns to Fish & Farm, now home to a creative pricing system, a fresh white paint job (above) and most importantly, new chef Chad Newton. With owner Frank Klein still running the show, F&F has clearly benefited from its mini-overhaul:
The pricing may seem like a gimmick, and it wouldn't work nearly as well if the food weren't good. A few months ago chef Jake Des Voignes left, and Klein brought on Chad Newton ... He's a fine cook, and as he becomes more comfortable in the kitchen, I predict he will get even better ... Newton is someone to watch, and Fish & Farm should continue to thrive in its out-of-the-way locationBauer does note a few "small disappointments," but on the whole, the review reads overwhelmingly well—and perhaps even more tellingly, predicts still more positives to come. As for the final grade, Fish & Farm got the deuce-half back in March '08; this time around, it nabs the same 2.5 stars. [Chron]
Meredith Brody chimes in on the chorus of critical acclaim at Flour + Water. Once she finds her way in, she has raves for the pasta, in particular the cappelletti: "One bite was all it took to know this was one of the best pastas I'd ever tasted ... Pizza good, pastas even better." [SFW]
Paul Reidinger takes the first look at the Lower Haight's Bistro St. Germain, a traditional French bistro that has been surprisingly thriving in the earlygoing: "The place has the boxy spaciousness of a swimming pool or a pool hall, yet it fills up quickly with people and noise ... The food does not disappoint, certainly. From the arrival of the first basket of bread at the table, it's clear that care is being taken in the kitchen." [SFBG]
Matthew Stafford visits Adesso, Oakland's salumi temple and recent recipient of three Chronicle stars: "Salumi reaches an especially lofty level of respectability at Adesso ... There's more to the place than sbricciolona with thyme and prosecco, though ... the full bar dispenses a dozen inventive cocktails, the all-Italian wine list is a sight to behold, and the venue's snack-laden happy hour is among the Bay Area's most bountiful." [EBX]
THE ELSEWHERE: The PressDem finds authenticity at Petaluma's Real Doner, the MIJ is at Valley Grove Cafe in Lagunitas, the Merc reviews Ikea's eats, No Salad has its usual pretty photo tour of A16, SFist goes to the Ritz, Bargain Bites is at Mill Valley's Stefano's Solar-Powered Pizza (not really solar-powered pizza, btw), Bar Bites says hello to Roland Passot at his new LB Steak on Santana Row, and of course, the big Sunday review was a three-star affair at Flour + Water.
[Photo: Fish & Farm]