Today Baueriffic heads up to Santa Rosa to hand out some twinklers to Rosso Pizzeria and Wine Bar. Carey Sweet first reviewed the North Bay hotspot two years ago to the tune of 2.5 stars, but now it's the big dog's turn to see what the big deal is. And Sir Miguel likes Rosso enough to roll out three stars:
While Russo bills itself as a pizzeria, it's much more. Each appetizer and salad is well conceived and has a unique twist ... Pizzas are intended to star, and they do. Each has that puffy, blistered, chewy and slightly smoky crust that can be created only in a raging-hot wood-fired oven operated by people who know what they're doing.All around, it's seamless operation from Bauer's perspective. Service is "among the most focused [he's] seen at a casual restaurant," he can taste the freshness in each bite of the menu, and—local restaurants take note—MB prefers restroom paper towels to be on the thick side, so he even enjoys his bathroom experience at Rosso. Overall, the place gets the tres. [Chron]
Paul Reidinger heads to the outskirts of the Mission to the three-year-old Olivia's Brunch and Fine Dining on Valencia and 30th: "As the path of Mexican restaurant cooking divides in this city, with one trail heading toward heights of scholarly upscaleness and the other wending past a familiar clutch of taquerías, Olivia's reminds us that the Mexican expression mi casa es su casa still carries meaning. Eating there is like going to your abuelita's place after church on Sunday: the setting is plain but neat and warm, and the food is humble and earthy." [SFBG]
East Bay correspondent Nicholas Boer gets the bonus review in the Datebook today, and he's at Matt Silverman's newest restaurant in Blackhawk, tapas spot Stomp: "The restraints (no stove, for instance) have led to a clear concept and tight operation ...While casual, and often pretty noisy, the atmosphere is luxurious." Despite having 10 restaurants, Silverman has been in the Stomp kitchen and Boer is optimistic, giving it 2.5 stars. [Chron]
The CoCo Times visits the six-month-old Five, where Scott Howard is starting to hit his stride. The review is a big rave, showering the Berkeley hotel restaurant with a lofty 3.5 stars and an explosion of pot roast praise: "Although short ribs are overplayed right now, these were the best I've had ... The pot roast alone is worth the drive from other parts of the Bay Area." [CCT]
THE ELSEWHERE: The Sunday Bauer had two stars for Montara's La Costanera, the PressDem anoints Rancho Viejo as the best Mexican food in Sonoma County period, the EBX is at Berkeley's first vegetarian Thai restaurant Green Papaya, the MIJ's Tanya Henry is at Umi Sushi and Grill in San Rafael, Bar Bites does Sakoon on the Peninsula, and Janny Hu takes the Bargain Bite column to Ian Begg's Naked Lunch sandwich pop-up.