There's no Bauer review today, so let's kick off this week's review extravaganza with Meredith Brody, who tackles the Tipsy Pig. She visits the Marina hotspot twice, once during "slower" hours and then again during the primetime crush, with surprising results:
After the low expectations engendered by the first meal, the Tipsy Pig's kitchen surprised us. Dish after dish was excellent ... the dinner on the whole had pleased. 'Comfort food on a night we needed comforting,' one of us said.However, despite all the menu winners, the positive review is not without the requisite "No Country For the Olds (Get Off My Lawn)" warning, as Brody caps off her well-written piece by highlighting the noise factor: "The food was enjoyable despite the setting, but the evening was the opposite of relaxing ... A very good meal, I thought, and I wouldn't come back on a bet. Well, I might. But only before 6pm." [SFW]
Today's Chron offering comes from East Bay reviewer Nicholas Boer, who opines on "Danville's new center of gravity," Vinoteca, which like Tipsy Pig, possesses a certain party vibe: "I'm sure the dining room on that warm Saturday night soon would have looked as it did on a recent Thursday - like a happening nightclub. If you want to focus on the food, come before 8 p.m. I can only hope that the party appeal of this 2-month-old restaurant doesn't push [chef Michael] Robertson's food into the background." Final grade: 2.5 stars. [Chron]
Paul Reidinger bestows his stamp of approval to Aicha, the Moroccan joint that replaced De Afghanan on Polk Street: "The restaurant will definitely be seen as an upgrade to this emulsification-resistant neighborhood ... so far the place is off to an impressive start. The food is modestly priced and not elaborate or precious, but it does offer an intensity of flavor many kitchens charging two or three times as much might envy." [SFBG]
THE ELSEWHERE: The PressDem doles out 2.5 stars to the Sonoma spinoff of Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, the Merc (suspiciously) finds the cult thing at Loving Hut to be "charming," the EBX unearths authentic Peruvian in Jack London Square at La Furia Chalaca, the MIJ is at Lucinda's in Mill Valley, Beer & Nosh has lots of pretty photos from Ubuntu, Bargain Bites is at Chester's Bay View Cafe and Tapas Bar in Berkeley while Bar Bites checks out the Walnut Creek Yacht Club, and the Sunday Bauer review dropped 2.5 stars upon Oakland's shiny Pican.